Scorpions – Ouch!

Scorpions Ouch!How dangerous is a sting from a scorpion? I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Esposito: And that’s a really important question because in many places of the world it is dangerous to humans. Lauren Esposito is the Curator of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.Esposito: But if you think about a scorpion and what it’s doing in its environment, the first thing that it wants to do is survive, and that means eat. And so the stinger usually produces venoms or toxins that are intended to subdue or kill their prey. In other scorpion groups, they also produce things that help keep them alive by defending them from predators. And so that means that they’re producing venoms that act on the bodies or the nervous systems of their predators, like mammals.Scorpions have a whole variety of potencies of their venom, and here in the United States we don’t have to worry. The scorpions that we have here for the most part feel at worst like a wasp sting, and in many cases don’t feel like anything more than getting your thumb pricked with a thumbtack. In other places of the world, there’s certainly a problem with scorpions for humans because there’s species of scorpions that are capable of killing an adult human. Here in the US, the only people that would need to worry about scorpions is in the case of one species which lives in Arizona and western New Mexico called the Arizona bark scorpion. And that scorpion, for an adult human or a healthy person, it feels like a bad wasp sting. It’s certainly not pleasant. But for a young child or somebody with a compromised immune system, it can always lead to complications that are unexpected. And so it’s always good to take care when you’re living around those species. 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 - Ouch!

How dangerous is a sting from a scorpion?
Air Date:10/14/2019
Scientist:
Transcript:

Scorpions Ouch!How dangerous is a sting from a scorpion? I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.Esposito: And that's a really important question because in many places of the world it is dangerous to humans. Lauren Esposito is the Curator of Arachnology at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.Esposito: But if you think about a scorpion and what it's doing in its environment, the first thing that it wants to do is survive, and that means eat. And so the stinger usually produces venoms or toxins that are intended to subdue or kill their prey. In other scorpion groups, they also produce things that help keep them alive by defending them from predators. And so that means that they're producing venoms that act on the bodies or the nervous systems of their predators, like mammals.Scorpions have a whole variety of potencies of their venom, and here in the United States we don't have to worry. The scorpions that we have here for the most part feel at worst like a wasp sting, and in many cases don't feel like anything more than getting your thumb pricked with a thumbtack. In other places of the world, there's certainly a problem with scorpions for humans because there's species of scorpions that are capable of killing an adult human. Here in the US, the only people that would need to worry about scorpions is in the case of one species which lives in Arizona and western New Mexico called the Arizona bark scorpion. And that scorpion, for an adult human or a healthy person, it feels like a bad wasp sting. It's certainly not pleasant. But for a young child or somebody with a compromised immune system, it can always lead to complications that are unexpected. And so it's always good to take care when you're living around those species. 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.