9 Striking Facts About Scorpions

Scorpions Were Around Long Before the First Dinosaurs


Some say that scorpions are the oldest animals that are still alive on land. According to fossils, scorpions were among the first animals from the sea to walk on land. This happened around 420 million years ago, during the Silurian Period.


They Are Not Insects


Spiders, mites, and ticks are all arachnids, as are scorpions. They are arachnids, which means they are like horseshoe crabs and sea spiders. They are in a larger group of arthropods called chelicerates.


They Dance Before Mating


Scorpions court each other by doing a dance-like routine called a promenade à deux, which means "walk for two."


They Give Birth to Live Young


In contrast to most other spiders and crustaceans, scorpions give birth to live young. That means they do not lay eggs on the outside, but instead give birth to live young.


Some Baby Scorpions Stay With Their Mom for 2 Years


In many species of scorpions, the babies feed on the yolk sac while they are on their mother's back. They leave a few days later, after their first change.


They Glow In UV Light


They glow in ultraviolet light because of chemicals that are fluorescent in the hyaline layer, which is part of the cuticle in their shell.


Some Scorpions Can Go a Year Without Food


Most scorpions eat bugs and spiders, but some larger types may also eat small lizards or mice. Some look for food directly, others wait for their prey to come to them, and some even set traps for their prey.


Their Venom Can Include Dozens of Different Toxins


Venom is something that all scorpions have, but it is different and complicated. Only about 25 of the 1,500 species that are known to exist are thought to be able to kill people.


They're Stingy With Their Stingers


Scorpions can choose whether to sting and how much poison to release. Because it takes a lot of energy for their bodies to make such complex venom, they tend to be cautious with it.