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Slow-Footed Female Scorpions Quicker to Sting
Discovery ^

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.


TOPICS: Outdoors; Pets/Animals; Science
KEYWORDS: kipling; poison; scorpions

1 posted on 06/06/2014 1:03:57 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Women.


2 posted on 06/06/2014 1:05:22 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: nickcarraway

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.


3 posted on 06/06/2014 1:07:32 PM PDT by gaijin
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To: nickcarraway

Wonder how much worthless studies such as this cost us annually? What a total waste of time!


4 posted on 06/06/2014 1:07:58 PM PDT by txrefugee
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To: nickcarraway; Drango

“The females are heavier, and they can’t sprint as fast,”

This is my story and I’m sticking to it.


5 posted on 06/06/2014 1:08:33 PM PDT by Salamander (He ain't heavy, he's my Boa.)
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To: nickcarraway

This reminds me of the saying not to pick a fight with an old man.


6 posted on 06/06/2014 1:10:08 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: KC_Lion; TADSLOS

Fallout ping

Plasma Rifle and power armor. Don’t leave the Vault without it.


7 posted on 06/06/2014 1:15:09 PM PDT by Norm Lenhart (How's that 'lesser evil' workin' out for ya?)
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To: nickcarraway
And somebody got a research grant for this. Amazing.
8 posted on 06/06/2014 1:21:50 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: Norm Lenhart

Rad Scorpions...I hate ‘em...


9 posted on 06/06/2014 1:23:39 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: nickcarraway

I thought this was a Hillary thread. hehe


10 posted on 06/06/2014 1:23:52 PM PDT by TexasCajun
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To: nickcarraway

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:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMG-LWyNcAs

Imagine this with a fat kid and scorpions.


11 posted on 06/06/2014 1:25:38 PM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("Don't compare me to the almighty, compare me to the alternative." -Obama, 09-24-11)
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To: nickcarraway
 photo download_zps60c0821f.jpg
12 posted on 06/06/2014 1:28:02 PM PDT by februus
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To: nickcarraway

The Scorpions I was acquainted with carried a big sting, 104 rockets and no one thought about their sex. F-89D


13 posted on 06/06/2014 1:28:34 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: nickcarraway

I’ve been married to a female scorpio for 27 years through three pregnancies and I can confirm the article...

*cheesy grin*


14 posted on 06/06/2014 1:29:07 PM PDT by Crim (Palin / West '16)
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To: TADSLOS

Albinos are the worst. Ammo sponges.


15 posted on 06/06/2014 1:38:12 PM PDT by Norm Lenhart (How's that 'lesser evil' workin' out for ya?)
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To: Norm Lenhart

True. Gotta be able to run backwards and shoot straight with those. LOL


16 posted on 06/06/2014 1:41:56 PM PDT by TADSLOS (The Event Horizon has come and gone. Buckle up and hang on.)
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To: Norm Lenhart

Thought this was going to be a Hilary thread. Huh


17 posted on 06/06/2014 1:46:27 PM PDT by codder too
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To: nickcarraway

I clicked on this thinking it was a Hillary story.


18 posted on 06/06/2014 1:59:59 PM PDT by dangerdoc
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To: codder too

beat me by three minutes, I should have read all the way to the bottom.


19 posted on 06/06/2014 2:01:25 PM PDT by dangerdoc
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To: nickcarraway
As Kipling pointed out in poetry: "The female of the species is more deadly than the male"
20 posted on 06/06/2014 2:06:05 PM PDT by expat2
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To: codder too; TADSLOS

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...


21 posted on 06/06/2014 3:15:02 PM PDT by Norm Lenhart (How's that 'lesser evil' workin' out for ya?)
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To: nickcarraway

and female officers are likelier to be fearful and fire their weapon more than male officers.


22 posted on 06/06/2014 3:54:03 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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