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Friday, March 2, 2012


Following the news that the Cubans have discovered a cancer-fighting drug using the venom from the scorpion, I thought I should share some information on this rather uncanny creature! The source of the article is NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and WIKIPEDIA.  i have tried to paraphrase where possible; but I have also "plagiarized" where I wanted to keep the original words of the author! 

Also at the end of the short article, I have shared some findings extracted from Wikipedia.

“Scorpions are tough. Some species are able to change their metabolic rate, allowing them live on one meal per year and even survive being stored in a freezer overnight.”

Scorpions are closely related to spiders, mites, and ticks. Although, they are generally believed to be “desert dwellers”, they also live in forests. They have been around for hundreds of millions of years, and they are known for their uncanny ability to survive.

There are about 2,000 scorpion species, but only 30 have strong enough poison to kill a person.

Scorpions eat insects, but their diet can be extremely variable depending on where they live. When food is scarce, the scorpion has an incredible ability to slow down its metabolism to as little as one-third the typical rate for arthropods. This ability enables some species to use little oxygen and live on as little as a single insect per year. Yet even with lowered metabolism, the scorpion has the ability to spring quickly to the hunt when the opportunity presents itself—a gift that many hibernating species lack.

Such survival skills allow scorpions to live in some of the planet's harshest surroundings. Researchers have even frozen scorpions overnight, only to put them in the sun the next day and watch them thaw out and walk away. But there is one thing scorpions have a difficult time living without—soil. They are burrowing animals, so in areas of permafrost or heavy grasses, where loose soil is not available, scorpions may not be able to survive.


Eating scorpions in Beijing, China: Fried scorpion is a traditional dish from Shandong, China.

As a part of Chinese medicine, scorpion wine and snake wine are used as analgesic and antidote.

Scorpion and snake wine (Was available in Piaye not too long ago) 

The deathstalker has powerful venom. 

"Iranian researchers have also reported that the venom of a certain species of scorpions has anti-inflammatory properties and is effective as an anti-arthritis treatment in an experimental species model, but the mechanism of action is unknown"

The key ingredient of the venom is a scorpion toxin protein

Scorpion sting and venom
"All known scorpion species possess venom and use it primarily to kill or paralyze their prey so that it can be eaten; in general, it is fast-acting, allowing for effective prey capture. It is also used as a defense against predators. The venom is a mixture of compounds (neurotoxins, enzyme inhibitors, etc.) each not only causing a different effect, but possibly also targeting a specific animal. Each compound is made and stored in a pair of glandular sacs and is released in a quantity regulated by the scorpion itself. Of the 1000+ known species of scorpion, only 25 have venom that is dangerous to humans"

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