Scientists at the Ryan Institute Research Institute found that smaller species of scorpions and those with finer clawed have stronger venom than larger individuals. The research was published in the journal Toxins.
Researchers at the National University of Ireland’s Ryan Institute in Galway joked that they’ve checked the truth about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. She declared that small scorpions are the most dangerous, and that “the bigger you meet, the better for you.” It turned out to be true.
Search “firepower” for scorpions
Scientists analyzed a total of 36 species of scorpions. They actually find that larger individuals have weaker venom and that meetings with them are certainly less annoying. For example, the youngest individual included in the analysis Tityus serrulatus It has a poison 100 times stronger than the largest tested species, such as hydrogen peroxide.
However, it was not only body size that was an important factor in determining the “firepower” of scorpions. According to the results of scientists, an important indicator of their poison is the size of the claws themselves, that is, the elements on which the front legs of crustaceans end. For example, the poison of one of the species with very small claws found in Africa – Parabuthus transvaalicus – Ten times stronger compared to the types equipped with the most powerful tongs, i.e. scorpio zodiac signknown as the Israeli golden scorpion.
– Of course, our study is not just a fun and curiosity related to the movie. The pattern we confirm may have important medical implications, said Dr. Kevin Healy, zoologist and lead author of the publication.
The scientist asserts that although scorpions use both the spike and the grabbing forceps for defense and pursuit, there is an evolutionary trade-off between the two types of “weapons”. “The energy used to make the larger pliers means there is very little left to produce a chemical arsenal,” he explained. This makes large scorpions, which can use their physical size in combat, less dependent on venom. On the contrary, the smallest individuals in the process of evolution developed a stronger poison, since it only gives them an advantage in combat.
– When we look at the most powerful and dangerous scorpion venoms, it turns out that they are related to species such as Leiurus quinquestriatus (In English it is called Deathstalker – ed. so) is relatively small. In contrast, the largest species, such as rock scorpions, have venom that causes little pain, Healy said.
Another author on the study, Dr. Alana Fordy, added that the study not only found that encounters with larger scorpions are certainly safer, but the level of danger from a scorpion can also be judged by pliers. It is fair to say that the species so generously endowed by nature depend on it these Strong ends of the legs, not on the relatively weak poison, she said.
Scorpion stings are a global health problem
The authors state that scorpion stings are a global health problem: every year there are about one million cases worldwide (and several thousand deaths). Fortunately, very few, only 25-30 species of the more than 2,000 species of scorpions, are deadly to humans.
Therefore, identification of the species associated with the bite is critical to treatment and risk assessment. Knowing the principle “the greater, the better (for man)” can be very useful in medical practice.
Most people who are hospitalized with severe symptoms after a scorpion sting are under the age of 15. Identifying the species responsible for the sting is essential to proper treatment. Study co-author Dr. Michel Dugon concluded that the simple principle of “bigger is more moderate” could be the first step toward saving lives more effectively.
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