Skip to comments.Slow-Footed Female Scorpions Quicker to Sting
Posted on 06/06/2014 1:03:57 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Female scorpions may sting more quickly to compensate for their slower running speed, new research shows.
And that sluggish running, and extra female fierceness, may be a result of the extra weight they carry from pregnancy, the researchers said.
"The females are heavier, and they can't sprint as fast," said study co-author Bradley Carlson, an ecologist at The Pennsylvania State University. "Heavier ones have to compensate for that by stinging more." [In Photos: Top 10 Deadliest Animals ]
Top 10 Fastest Land Animals Past studies had suggested that female scorpions tended to be extra aggressive, wielding their venom-packed stingers more quickly in comparison to males.
Carlson and his colleagues suspected this aggression was a result of differences in their tails, with males' longer, skinnier ones perhaps being more difficult to wield. (A scorpion "tail" is, in fact, just an extension of the abdomen, with a stinger at the end.)
So the researchers ventured into the New Mexican desert to trap bark scorpions. This particular scorpion species , Centruroides vittatus, can be found from Arkansas to New Mexico and grows to about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) long.
Unlike the deadlier bark scorpions found farther west, C. vittatus has a sting that's not much worse than a bad bee sting , Carlson said.
Because the nocturnal creatures contain a chemical that glows under ultraviolet light, the researchers set out in the dead of night, shining blacklight flashlights on the desert landscape.
"If the light hits one, you'll suddenly see this bright-green glowing shape in the grass or the rocks," Carlson told Live Science.
New Scorpion from Land of Ancient Myth They eventually scooped up 30 females and 31 males by the tail using long tweezers, dropping them into a plastic bag.
The researchers weighed the scorpions, then placed a 1-inch-long (2.5 cm) cardboard target on their backs and tracked how often they stung. In another trial, they measured how fast the insects sprinted across a track.
No matter the sex, heavier animals were more aggressive.
But on average the females were heavier, likely because they are pregnant eight months of the year and have to lug around a belly full of baby scorpions in addition to their own body weight.
The females stung the target about four times per second, compared to about three times per second for the males.
The males were the speedier sprinters , running about 30 percent faster than the females. The females seemed averse to sprinting, Carlson said.
"Females would sometimes just run a little ways and then give up," Carlson added.
So the females may simply be too heavy to scurry away quickly, and would rather wield their stingers to defend themselves, Carlson suspects.
As a follow-up, the team wants to figure out exactly why male scorpions have longer, skinnier tails than females.
Same with cops —in fact a female patrol officer is far more likely to shoot you.
They’re aware of their lower body strength and compensate with their trigger.
I’d wager a really fat female officer is sort of like Dr. Mengele with a badge.
Wonder how much worthless studies such as this cost us annually? What a total waste of time!
“The females are heavier, and they can’t sprint as fast,”
This is my story and I’m sticking to it.
This reminds me of the saying not to pick a fight with an old man.
Plasma Rifle and power armor. Don’t leave the Vault without it.
Rad Scorpions...I hate ‘em...
I thought this was a Hillary thread. hehe
So to impress female scorpions, hundreds of male scorpions will all swarm a plump human child, stinging it many times until it is overcome with venom and collapses, so the female may lay her eggs in it.
Then something like this happens:
Imagine this with a fat kid and scorpions.
The Scorpions I was acquainted with carried a big sting, 104 rockets and no one thought about their sex. F-89D
I’ve been married to a female scorpio for 27 years through three pregnancies and I can confirm the article...
Albinos are the worst. Ammo sponges.
True. Gotta be able to run backwards and shoot straight with those. LOL
Thought this was going to be a Hilary thread. Huh
I clicked on this thinking it was a Hillary story.
beat me by three minutes, I should have read all the way to the bottom.
It is sorta. Hillary very much resembles a Fallout 3/New Vegas Albino Radscorpion. Pale, pasty, kills lots of innocent people, leaves a wake of carnage wherever it goes.
So does the Radscorpion...
and female officers are likelier to be fearful and fire their weapon more than male officers.