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   Many people have a deep fascination for the larger arachnids such as scorpions and tarantulas. They see them as the traditional “monsters” stalking their prey with terrifying accuracy. This is a proven fallacy; scorpions in particular are much maligned. 

   There are about 1500 species of scorpions identified to date. All of them contain a poison which is used primarily for immobilizing larger prey and warding off possible threats. Very few of these are considered dangerous to humans. The poison is similar to a bee sting; some individuals are more sensitive than others. Long metal or wooden tweezers or gloves are useful for handling. Remember to always be cautious, particularly if you are not familiar with scorpions. Once accustomed to captivity, they seldom attempt to sting. 

   Scorpions, like tarantulas, are arachnids. They have eight legs instead of the usual six that insects have. Although, they have several pairs of eyes, their eyesight is extremely poor. Instead they use the tiny hair on their legs to sense air movement and vibrations to feel out their prey.

   Caring for scorpions is easy. Provide a shallow dish of water for most varieties (including the emperor). Desert scorpions require no water; they receive all their moisture from their food. Some scorpions like to burrow; and this can be satisfied by providing a container filled with vermiculite. 

   Another interesting fact is that scorpions are live-bearers. They take care of their babies. The young remain on the mother’s back until they shed their exoskeleton for the first time. This affords them additional protection, even though they are born with poison and the ability to sting. 

   Scorpions make an unusual and interesting pet, although definitely not for everyone. Even though most scorpions are not life-threatening, many states regulate their sale and possession.


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