Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Mouse v. Scorpion

Environmental & Science Education, Biological Evolution, Biodiversity, STEM

Ed Hessler 

"Commonly found in the Sonoran Desert, the Arizona bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus) is the most dangerous scorpion in the continental United States. According to Keith Boesen, Director of the Arizona Poison & Drug Information Center, about 15,000 Americans report being stung by scorpions every year in the U.S. The worst stings, about 200 annually, are attributed to this one species. Its sting can cause sharp pain along with tingling, swelling, numbness, dizziness, shortness of breath, muscular convulsions, involuntary eye movements, coughing and vomiting. Children under two years old are especially vulnerable. Since 2000, three human deaths have been attributed to the Arizona bark scorpion in the United States, all within Arizona. "But there is one unlikely creature that appears unimpressed. While it may not look the part, the Southern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys torridus) is an extremely capable hunter. It fearlessly stalks and devours any beetles or grasshoppers that have the misfortune to cross its path. But this mouse has a particular taste for (these) scorpions."

This video from KQED's Deep Look series tells you how the mouse survives the bite so it can have a preferred meal. The link includes information about scorpions as well as an article about the Arizona bark scorpion. And here is a video about one researcher Dr. Ashley Rowe (and her team) of Michigan State University on their work with Arizona bark scorpions.

No comments:

Post a Comment