Scorpions are dreaded arachnids known for their deadly sting and effective hunting skills. Because of these attributes, many people easily forget that scorpions are still part and parcel of the food chain. As unbelievable as it may sound, there are creatures out there that prey on scorpions. Below are ten of the insects and animals that feed on scorpions.
List of Scorpion Predators
1. The Southern Grasshopper Mouse
This is quite an interesting predator of scorpions owing to the unique defense system that helps it adapt to scorpion stings. The small mouse’s body has a protein capable of interacting with venom and preventing pain signals from ever reaching its brain. This allows the mice to bear with pain as they fight scorpions. Other than being a pain-blocking mechanism, the combination of the protein and venom helps the mouse to combat other pain forms. Without feeling pain, scorpions almost stand no chance against the mouse.
While owls may not be immune to venom like the Southern Grasshopper mouse, they are powerful predators capable of hunting silently, accurately, and quickly, usually at night. Because of their accuracy and swiftness when they strike, owls snatch up scorpions without a fight. Their powerful beaks do the rest of the work. Most scorpions can’t put up a fight against owls’ hunting skills.
3. The Southern Ground Hornbill
This is a rare bird native to Africa. It has a large beak and is the largest and heaviest of all hornbill species. These attributes make the hornbills worthy adversaries. These scorpion predators use their large beaks to attack and weaken scorpions. Once the scorpion stops fighting and is no longer able to attack, the hornbill swallows it easily. Other than scorpions, the Southern Ground Hornbill attacks snakes, tortoises, and small monkeys.
Bats are amazing creatures. They are immune to scorpion venom and have an excellent hearing ability that enables them to hear scorpions move around. Also, their vision is so good that they can see scorpions on the floor of their dark locations. Bats’ immunity to scorpion venom and good vision make them effective attackers. Some bats’ diet consists of scorpions mainly.
Although scorpions and tarantulas both belong to the same class — Arachnids — they are not friendly towards each other. In fact, the two are common enemies, with tarantulas emerging the winner in most duels. Compared to scorpions, tarantulas are larger and have large, poison-filled fangs and hairs on their bodies for better sensory abilities. Also, they are stronger and faster, which enables them to attack scorpions without much effort.
6. The Amazonian Giant Centipede
The next predator of scorpions is the Amazonian Giant Centipede. This centipede is found in the Caribbean and South America. It can grow to more than one foot long and is very aggressive. These attributes, together with its deadly venom, make this centipede a worthy opponent of most animals. It feeds on scorpions and several insects. With its ability to attack snakes as well as its long body and hard shell, scorpions are no match for the Amazonian Giant Centipede.
While meerkats are small and adorable creatures, they attack scorpions without much effort. They are smart and have, over the years, developed a unique hunting method that they pass on to their subsequent generations. When fighting a scorpion, a meerkat will wait patiently and monitor the arachnid’s movements. After identifying the scorpion’s movements, the meerkat will again wait until an opportunity to strike the arachnid’s tail presents itself. This is to prevent the scorpion from attacking with its venom. Other than their smart hunting strategy, meerkats are highly resistant to scorpion venom and can tolerate its attacks.
Shrews are vicious and fast. They can win any fight against the scorpion. When fighting scorpions, these predators of scorpions use their fast reflexes to dodge any oncoming attacks from the arachnid’s tail. Once an opportunity is presented, shrews chew up scorpions with their sharp teeth. Although the scorpion may hold its own for a while, the shrew inevitably wins owing to its ferocity and speed.
Mongooses are ranked among the deadliest predators to scorpions. They are known for preying on poisonous animals. In fact, in their search for food, they attack various poisonous creatures that no other mammal would dare approach. One such creature is the scorpion. Like meerkats, mongooses are highly resistant to scorpion venom and can stand a few stings before they feel the need to retreat. Being smart and quick, mongooses observe scorpion movements carefully while dodging any oncoming attacks. The mongoose will then strike the scorpion and kill it in seconds.
Humans are also on the list of scorpions’ predators. Scorpions are rich in protein and are easy to find in certain areas. Although the squeamish may not find eating scorpions very appealing, they are delicious when prepared and cooked correctly. It can be quite dangerous catching and eating scorpions due to its venom. The fact that many people are taught to stay away from animals that bite or sting does not make it any easier. Although cooking is recommended, they can also be eaten raw. The venom glands and stinger are first removed if they are to be eaten raw. For those to be cooked, they are left on because the heat breaks down the venom. In China, scorpions are consumed with their stingers on. They are believed to have certain medical benefits.
Scorpions and other bugs have been found to contain 80 percent protein as compared to 20 percent in beef. While this seems like an issue for those keen on their weight, it is good for a survival situation where calories count. They can help one stay energized. In some areas, there is an adequate supply of scorpions, making them a fairly reliable source of food. Here, humans use tricks to catch scorpions without getting stung. When cooked, scorpions taste like crab, shrimp, popcorn, and even crispy chicken skin. According to nutritionists, it is safe to eat scorpions. With its many health benefits, nutritionists encourage eating them outside of survival.
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