Scorpions 101

Scorpions 101They resemble small lobsters, but like spiders they’re arachnids, with eight legs and a tail with a stinger. Yep, we’re talking scorpions. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Esposito: Scorpions have been on Earth for a very long time, about 450 million years. And what that means is that they were on Earth before the dinosaurs, before all vertebrate animals, meaning animals with a backbone, before all flowering plants. And they were probably the first predatory invertebrates – animals without a backbone – to come onto land from the ocean.Lauren Esposito is the Curator of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.Esposito: I think many people are surprised by all of the places that scorpions are found on Earth today. You can find scorpions in virtually every environment, with the exception of the Arctic and the Antarctic. But you can find scorpions in the Alps, in the highest mountains. You can find scorpions a thousand meters deep in caves in Mexico. So scorpions have really excelled at surviving on Earth, and that’s why we can find them just about everywhere.In the United States, scorpions are found in much of the southern part of the country. But on the west coast, they go all the way up to Canada. So, while certainly many people think about scorpions living in the desert, we can find them in the redwood groves here in California; we can find them in the Appalachian Mountains over on the east coast, in the swamps in Florida. They’re found in quite a number of places in the US, with the exception of those places that freeze for large parts of the year. So, places where the ground freezes, scorpions tend not to survive very well, so we don’t find them there very often.We’ll hear more about scorpions in future programs. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. You can listen to this and previous programs on our podcast.

Scorpions 101

They walked the earth before the dinosaurs.
Air Date:10/30/2019
Scientist:
Transcript:

Scorpions 101They resemble small lobsters, but like spiders they're arachnids, with eight legs and a tail with a stinger. Yep, we're talking scorpions. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Esposito: Scorpions have been on Earth for a very long time, about 450 million years. And what that means is that they were on Earth before the dinosaurs, before all vertebrate animals, meaning animals with a backbone, before all flowering plants. And they were probably the first predatory invertebrates - animals without a backbone - to come onto land from the ocean.Lauren Esposito is the Curator of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.Esposito: I think many people are surprised by all of the places that scorpions are found on Earth today. You can find scorpions in virtually every environment, with the exception of the Arctic and the Antarctic. But you can find scorpions in the Alps, in the highest mountains. You can find scorpions a thousand meters deep in caves in Mexico. So scorpions have really excelled at surviving on Earth, and that's why we can find them just about everywhere.In the United States, scorpions are found in much of the southern part of the country. But on the west coast, they go all the way up to Canada. So, while certainly many people think about scorpions living in the desert, we can find them in the redwood groves here in California; we can find them in the Appalachian Mountains over on the east coast, in the swamps in Florida. They're found in quite a number of places in the US, with the exception of those places that freeze for large parts of the year. So, places where the ground freezes, scorpions tend not to survive very well, so we don't find them there very often.We'll hear more about scorpions in future programs. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet. You can listen to this and previous programs on our podcast.