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Scorpions are predatory arachnids distinguished by their segmented curved tail with a venomous stinger and grasping pincers, in the order Scorpiones. Their high adaptability to environmental conditions has allowed them to survive to the present with unchanged body structures.
See the fact file below for more information on the scorpions or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Scorpions worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- There are 1,388 species found in the tropics into the temperate zones. Their embryological patterns, anatomy of their reproductive system, structure of their sternum, gnathobase, legs, cheliceral dentition, venom glands, and the number and distribution of their lateral eyes are some of the factors in classifying their species.
- The 17 extant families include: Buthidae, Vaejovidae, Chactidae, Scorpionidae, Bothriuridae, Diplocentridae, Euscorpiidae, Liochelidae, Iuridae, Urodacidae, Chaerilidae, Superstitioniidae, Hemiscorpiidae, Microcharmidae, Troglotayosicidae, Urodacidae (cave scorpions), and Pseudochactidae.
- Just like other arachnids, scorpions have four pairs of legs with two body segments – cephalothorax and abdomen. They also lack wings and antennae, making them easily distinguishable from other insects.
- Scorpions are approximately 2.5 inches (6cm) in length. Hadogenes troglodytes of South Africa is known as the longest scorpion in the world, with a length of 8.3in (21 cm).
- Its exoskeleton, made of chitin, provides support and muscle attachment, aids in respiration, and gives resistance against predators.
- The scorpion’s head, cephalothorax (also known as prosoma), is covered by a protective shell and includes two eyes on the top and two to five eyes along the corners of the head, mouth, and the claws known as pedipalps, which have pinchers called chelae.
- The front half of the abdomen, mesosoma, has six segments with four pairs of walking legs, and contains the sexual and respiratory organs of the scorpion.
- The scorpion’s tail, metasoma, has six segments and bears the venomous stinger (telson).
- The scorpion’s venom varies depending on the species. Scorpions take a lot of energy to produce their venom, which is mainly composed of neurotoxins.
- Scorpions are carnivorous predators that eat any small animal that comes their way. Insects, spiders, pill bugs, snails, lizards, snakes, and rodents are their common prey.
- The Isometroides vescus, Australian spiral burrow or spider hunting scorpion, feeds only on burrowing spiders.
- Predators include centipedes, owls, bats, and coyotes.
- Scorpions are universally distributed except in New Zealand and Antarctica. Known as desert dwellers, they are also found in tropical rainforests and grasslands. They are nocturnal arachnids, so mature scorpions prefer staying in one area.
- Most scorpions live in burrows to protect themselves from their predators and to stay cool during hot days and warm during cold nights.
- Mating rituals vary from species to species; but in general, males perform a one-hour courting dance, promenade à deux (a walk for two). He grabs the female’s pedipalps and moves her back and forth, in circles.
- Clubbing happens when the two raise tails, touching and bumping them together without stinging. After the dance, males usually leave because aggressive females might eat them.
- The devil scorpion from Brazil reproduces by parthenogenesis; females do not need a male to fertilize.
- Scorpions are viviparous – they produce live babies. Females give birth to her youngs two to 18 months after mating, depending on the species.
- Babies are usually white and soft-bodied and cannot sting or feed. They are attached to their mother’s back for protection and nourishment until their first molt, when they shed the old skin.
- It takes two to three years before babies mature into adults, with some species maturing in six months to seven years.
- The size of the litter depends on the species but usually consists of around eight scorpionlings.
- They have sensitive hairs on their pedipalps, allowing scorpions to determine the exact distance and direction of their prey. Most species use their venomous sting only when the situation calls for it. Usually, they grab and crush their prey with their pincers.
- Scorpions glow when exposed to ultraviolet light due to the presence of fluorescent chemicals in their exoskeleton.
- The modern scorpion can live as long as 25 years.
- They can survive a year without eating.
- Scorpions are able to survive underwater for up to two days because they have “book lungs”. Book lungs have many layers of thin membrane stacked together, like pages in a book.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the scorpion across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Scorpion worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the scorpions which are predatory arachnids distinguished by their segmented curved tail with a venomous stinger and grasping pincers, in the order Scorpiones. Their high adaptability to environmental conditions has allowed them to survive to the present with unchanged body structures.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Scorpion Facts
- A Day in a Life
- Ask a Scorpion
- Scorpion Species
- Scorpion Maze
- Scorpion or Not?
- Scorpion Diet
- Scorpion Crossword
- Scorpion Sting
- To Do List
Frequently Asked Questions
What is unique about scorpions?
Scorpions are unique creatures. They have eight legs, two pedipalps, and a tail with a poisonous barb. Their exoskeleton is made of chitin – like the shell of shrimp – instead of bones.
How fast can a scorpion run?
Scorpions can move away from danger quickly at a speed of 12 mph. This allows them to avoid any threat they face.
What god is a scorpion?
Selket, the powerful and formidable Egyptian scorpion goddess of death, commanded immense respect from her worshippers. She was known for being very good at guarding the canopic jar that held the intestines of a dead body.
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Link will appear as Scorpion Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 26, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.