Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scorpions are master architects, according to new research

Date:
July 10, 2014
Source:
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Summary:
The burrows made by scorpions follow a very sophisticated design, beginning with a short, vertical entrance shaft that flattened out a few centimeters below the surface into a horizontal platform, new research has found. The burrows then turn sharply downwards, descending further below ground to form a dead-end chamber. This cool, humid chamber, where evaporation water loss is minimal, provides a refuge for the scorpions to rest during the heat of the day.

Black Scorpion (stock image). Scorpions are predatory arachnids, found on all continents except Antarctica. They occupy a range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, mountains and deserts. Their varied diets include arthropods, lizards and even small rodents.
Credit: praisaeng / Fotolia

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev scientists have discovered that scorpions create a platform in their burrows where they warm up before the evening hunt.

Related Articles


As ectothermic animals, scorpions rely on energy from the environment to regulate their internal temperature. The researchers believe that this platform provides a safe, warm spot for the scorpions to increase their body temperature before they leave their hiding places to forage at night.

After trapping the wild large-clawed scorpions (Scorpio Maurus Palmatus) in Israel's Negev desert the researchers filled their burrows with molten aluminum to make replica casts. Once solidified, they were unearthed and analyzed by a 3-D laser scanner and software.

The researchers found that the burrows followed a very sophisticated design, beginning with a short, vertical entrance shaft that flattened out a few centimeters below the surface into a horizontal platform. The burrows then turn sharply downwards, descending further below ground to form a dead-end chamber. This cool, humid chamber, where evaporation water loss is minimal, provides a refuge for the scorpions to rest during the heat of the day.

The design was common to all the scorpion burrows studied, which suggests that burrow building in scorpions has evolved by natural selection to meet the animals' physiological needs.

"Very little is known about burrow environments," says Dr. Amanda Adams who presented the study at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Experimental Biology in Manchester, United Kingdom on July 3, 2014. She is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Marco and Louise Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology at BGU's Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research. Her co-researcher and advisor for the study is Prof. Berry Pinshow.

"We plan to expand our studies to more scorpion species around the world to test how burrow structure is shaped to be part of the burrow builder's extended physiology. Understanding the relationship between environmental conditions and burrow structures, meanwhile, could help to predict how burrow-builders will respond to climate change.

Scorpions are predatory arachnids, found on all continents except Antarctica. They occupy a range of habitats, including forests, grasslands, mountains and deserts. Their varied diets include arthropods, lizards and even small rodents.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Scorpions are master architects, according to new research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710161525.htm>.
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. (2014, July 10). Scorpions are master architects, according to new research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710161525.htm
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. "Scorpions are master architects, according to new research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140710161525.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

The Hottest Food Trends for 2015

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Urbanspoon predicts whicg food trends will dominate the culinary scene in 2015. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Ivory Trade Boom Swamps Law Efforts

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 17, 2014) Demand for ivory has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of African elephants and now a conservation report says the illegal trade is overwhelming efforts to enforce the law. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins