Scorpions may be some of the freakiest creepy-crawlers on this planet, but their venom has medicinal properties.
Similarly to the spider peptides that are able to interact with sodium channels, researchers found in a 2010 study that scorpion venom too could have painkiller properties. But this isn’t all: researchers also found that scorpion venom could assist in fighting cancer.
Seattle researchers developed something called “tumor paint” out of scorpion venom, which was successful in identifying brain cancer and lighting it up for doctors to see. They re-engineered a specific protein from the Israeli death stalker scorpion to make it bind to cancer cells, then tied it to a fluorescent molecule that acts as a sort of flashlight or glow to assist in surgeries or identifying cells within the body.
The Asian forest scorpion is viviparous, meaning the embryo develops inside the body of the mother scorpion, instead of outside in an egg. The mother gives birth to baby scorpions one at a time and has them stay on her back until ready to leave. While these animals grow, they shed their exoskeleton, a process called moulting.
This happens usually about five to seven times while growing. When it first comes out of its old exoskeleton, its new exoskeleton is soft. Because its new outer shell is much less hard, the scorpion is at high risk of becoming injured or killed by another animal. While the exoskeleton becomes harder, the scorpion must regularly do stretches to make sure that the new exoskeleton will be able to flex in the ways that the scorpion moves.
Asian forest scorpions are nocturnal, meaning they sleep at day and are active at night. During the day, they try to find cool areas to sleep, like inside of holes or under rocks or other areas in shade. During the night, they come out of their habitat to find food to eat. Generally, these scorpions like to live in areas where the temperature ranges from the high sixty degrees to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, although middle European scorpions have been known to live in environments with temperatures as cold as negative twenty five degrees celsius. Asian forest scorpion’s main meal is arthropods and insects. To capture their prey, they use pincers to grab it.
Once they have a hold on their meal, they either crush the being or they inject it with venom. Once it is dead from the venom, the scorpion then eats it. Animals that want these scorpions for their prey include birds, centipedes, lizards, mice, possums, and rats.