Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Scorpion schooner

I am using another ship metaphor to describe this mama scorpion which is almost as creepy as the wolf spider in the viral video I blogged about, if only because it is in a still image. This tiny new species of scorpion was found in Tucson, Arizona, U.S., and American entomologist and taxonomist Quentin Wheeler writes, "What struck me about the new scorpion was the choreography visible in a photo of a specimen of the new species carrying a couple of dozen juveniles on its back. Curiously, all of the young are oriented in the same direction, heads forward and down, tails overlapping the sibling behind them like so many roof tiles. How bizarre! Why would these tiny, not yet fully developed animals align themselves with such precise conformity?" He goes on to explain that the reason for it can only be speculated, but the drive to do it is ingrained. A trait of the ancestral species common to this and related scorpions was synchronized gregariousness.

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