since moved to the National University of Singapore.">

Smart Scorpions build their own sun deck

By Steve Pointing 03/07/2014


An endearing piece of research reported at the Society for Experimental Biology meeting in the UK this week describes how scorpions from the Negev Desert (Israel) build their burrows to optimise temperature for different activities.  The clever rascals build a deck at the burrow entrance that allows them to warm up in the evening sun in preparation for their nocturnal hunting activities (being exothermic they rely on external heat to warm their bodies), whilst the lower burrow forms a dead-end chamber that remains cool and humid during the heat of the day.  The researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev used 3-D laser scanning and modelling of the burrow to resolve this clever architecture, which they postulate is a selective adaptation to the desert environment.

Image credit: www.boker.org