Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Scorpion Mothers

So you're walking through the tropical forest, somewhere in central Africa, and you stumble upon the creature to the right.

What is your immediate response? Fear, loathing, disgust?

What if I told you that this is a gentle, loving, and caring creature deserving of your admiration? You would scoff, no doubt, pointing out the obvious fact that nothing so ugly could be anything but a mindless monster intent on killing anything in it's path.

That's pure garbage. Beauty and wonder are so much more than skin deep and I think it is a true shame these marvelous beings aren't better appreciated.

  Pandinus imperator, or the emperor scorpion, is a wonderful mother. Born live, her young are fully formed but very vulnerable. Immediately after birth they clamber onto their mother's back for safety. They will remain there until their first molt gives them a firmer exoskeleton.

The mother, apparently more than just a mindless protector, will even kill insects and crush them into more manageable pieces for her fragile young to feast on.

After leaving her back the young don't just vanish into the wilderness. The mother-young relationship can last from several months to several years, with the young ones remaining in the family group as adults.

I think this is just amazing. We live in a world where only birds and mammals are are allowed to be genuinely caring, but all around us are a plethora of beings in all forms putting forth great effort to see their offspring live to adulthood. What is the difference between us, in the end?

I would say it is small. What would you say?


  1. I've never seen a scorpion before. While I think of them as dangerous, I find them fascinating. Then again I think all creatures are fascinating. Heck, as a kid, I played with snakes, and I'm not talking about boas either.

  2. I live in the Austalia and i hate scorpions. I tired to buy traps every week to catch them.