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Scorpion Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

A scorpion is an animal with eight legs and a stinging tail. This lesson will teach you about scorpions, how they catch their dinner, where they live, some myths about them that aren't true and some cool facts that are.

What is a Scorpion?

Imagine being a cricket, out for a night of jumping and chirping to see if you can find other crickets. Without warning, you realize you found something, but it's not another cricket. Immediately, you are in the grip of strong pinchers and you see a giant stinging tail hovering above you. You have just become a scorpion snack!

A scorpion has two front pinchers, a long body and a stinging tail. There are around 1,500 kinds of scorpions that scientists know about, but a lot more that haven't been found yet.

Scorpion
Scorpion

Just like you have relatives, scorpions are related to spiders and ticks, and all are arachnids, which means they have eight legs, no antennae and their body is divided into two parts. The longest scorpion can grow to be over eight inches long, while the smallest is less than half an inch long.

If you look at scorpions in natural light, you would never know that they are one of nature's glow sticks. But, if you put a scorpion under a black light, it glows a turquoise color!

Glowing Scorpion Under Black Light
Glowing Scorpion Under Black Light

Where do Scorpions Live?

Scorpions live on every continent in the world except Antarctica and hang out in different places like deserts, rain forests and grasslands. They set up their houses in underground burrows, under leaves or up in trees, and usually go hunting at night.

Some people think that all scorpion stings can kill people, but that isn't true. Of all the different kinds of scorpions in the world, only 25 kinds are harmful to people. Only one of those dangerous scorpions lives in the United States and it is the bark scorpion. And though most scorpions can't kill you, they should be left alone because their sting still hurts.

What's for Dinner?

Scorpions are carnivores, which means they eat meat, but they aren't very neat about it and you probably wouldn't want to have dinner with one. Scorpions use their strong front pinchers that look like lobster claws to snatch their dinner and break it into pieces. If their prey fights back, they can sting it with their tail to paralyze it and then break it into chunks. After they have a collected enough pieces, they spit all over their stack of broken bugs. That spit dissolves their food into a gooey, slimy glob that they can slurp up.

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