Asian giant forest scorpion with tail raised.


Scorpions were among the first animals to adapt to life on land 420 million years ago. They are the oldest arachnids for which fossils are known. Scorpions are particularly recognisable by their spectacularly large, powerful pincers, which are enlarged appendages used to grasp and subdue prey. The famous stinging tail contains a pair of poison glands and is used to paralyse prey. Hated and admired since ancient times, they still strike fear into people though few are deadly. Around 2,000 species have been described in 13 families with species found on every continent except Antarctica, and not just under rocks in the desert!

Scientific name: Scorpiones

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The Scorpions can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Amazon Rainforest, Asia, Australia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Madagascar, Mediterranean, North America, Russia, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


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Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Fossil types

Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.

BBC News about Scorpions

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