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Scorpions - Essay Example

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All about scorpions (October, 2011) An Arizonian scorpion This paper gives an overview of various aspects related to scorpions from different perspectives including biological and social, and also mentions some recent developments. Scorpions are invertebrates that belong to the Arachnida class of animals so they are related to spiders, ticks and mites…
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Download file to see previous pages The main body is protected by body armor and bears four pairs of legs and pectines. Sensory organs at the end of their legs and the pectines are able to detect ground vibrations and chemical signals respectively. Their distinctive erectile and curved tail has a telson at the end which contains a sting. Scorpions also have a pair of pincers attached to the front of their heads, and their sting is venomous. Most scorpions grow to between 2 and 3 inches in length although some can be shorter at 0.5 inches and some can be longer such as the African emperor scorpion which can exceed 8 inches. Their color is typically either yellow, brown or black which helps them to camouflage and their bodies also contain fluorescent chemicals which makes them glow under ultraviolet light. Their body temperatures can also adjust quickly with their surroundings but they need to be warm to be active. Scorpions are usually found to exist in climates that are warm and dry such as in deserts although they have also been found to adapt to a wide variety of climates including savannahs, rain forests and snowy areas. They are able to survive droughts or the cold by hibernating in a dormant state. There are an estimated 1,500 different species of scorpions around the world. Scorpions are nocturnal creatures so they tend to hide during the day in places such as under rocks, in caves, inside cracks, in their own burrows, etc. and they hunt during the night. On the basis of their main dwelling, different types of scorpions can be identified as sand dwellers, rock dwellers, burrowing scorpions, cave dwellers, and there are also the arboreal scorpions that are agile and live in buildings and on trees. Among the most deadliest of scorpions is the Bark Scorpion that has a light brown color and is found in places such as Arizona, California and New Mexico where there is an abundance of scorpions, and the Deathstalker found in the Middle East and North Africa. In fact, scorpions are by nature predatory creatures. They employ ambush tactics and can immobilize their prey using their pedipalps and if necessary their venom too so as to consume them. The scorpions are able to adjust the amount of venom according to the size of the prey. An acidic spray onto the prey then dissolves their tissues to make it easier to suck up their bodies. Their prey can include all other insects as well as other scorpions. Larger scorpions are even able to eat small vertebrates such as frogs, lizards, snakes and mice once they subdue them. The social behavior of scorpions is characterized by their solitary nature but some enjoy living in familial groups and some of them engage in colonial burrowing. Courtship involves a mating ritual wherein the male dances with the female in a dance called the 'promenade a deux' prior to mating. The eggs develop inside the bodies of the females and nourishment is given to the young from the yolk or in some cases directly from the mother's body. Gestation periods vary between 3 and 18 months but each brood usually contains between 25 and 35 young scorpions which are in some cases born two at a time. When born, the young scorpions climb onto the back of their mothers and receive their energy from the fat stored inside them. The young become independent after about two weeks, and they shed their own skin at least 5 times to mature fully. Their lifespans range from between 3 and 5 years although some live longer up to 15 ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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