Intro

In this page you are going to find some info about the desert animals from the book , like rattlesnakes and scorpions. ( We won't do the yellow-spotted lizard only by the fact that they don't exist )


Rattlesnakes Rattlesnake.gif

The rattlesnake is a type of venomous* snake with a variety of about 50 species around the world. They are named rattlesnakes after their tail that is equipped with a rattle. The rattle is used to warn other creatures when the snake feels threatened or angry and is about to attack. There is not much difference between other kind of snakes and rattlesnakes, apart from their sizes and behavior.

Prey*

Rattlesnakes usually feed on small rodents like rats or rabbits. Their very flexible lower jaw allows them to swallow their preys whole and alive if they want.

Its predators*

Even being so dangerous, the rattlesnakes are still prey for other animals:
- King snakes
- Roadrunners
- Pigs
- Hawks
- Eagles

Glossary:

Predator: an organism that eats another one
Prey: an organism that is eaten as source of food for another organism
Venomous: that contains venom (poison)




Scorpions

Scorpions are arachnids , like spiders and mites/ticks, with eight legs, with about 2000 species distributed around the world.
Many people think they are insects, but they are not. Insects have 3 pairs of legs and a pair of advanced eyes,
while arachnids have 4 pairs of legs and 8 simple eyes.

Physical attributesscorpion.jpg

A scorpion's body is divided into 2 parts. The cephalotorax and the abdomen.
The cephalotorax is mainly the head of the scorpion, with its carapace*, eyes, mouth parts and pairs of walking legs.
The abdomen is divided into 2 parts, the mesosoma and the metasoma.
The mesosoma is the front half, made up of six segments. The first segment contains sexual organs, the second one contains a pair of sensory organs, and the other four segments contains each a pair of book lungs*.
The metasoma is the scorpion's tail, and like the cephalotorax, it is made up of six segments, and in the last segment is the scorpion's anus. It also holds the sting, which produces and injects the venom in the scorpion's prey.

More

- Some scorpions are born with two tails, but its not considered a new specie, just a genetic abnormality*. Read about the Two-tailed Scorpion Pepe!!!

Life and Habits

The scorpions age range from 4 to 25 years old, which depends on which specie it is, and its life conditions.
Scorpions are used to live in areas where the temperatures rang e from 20°C to 37°C. But they can still survive at some temperatures colder/hotter than that, about 14°C to 45°C. They are nocturnal creatures. While the sun is set, they hide from the sunlight in underground caves or under rocks. At night, they leave their shelters to hunt and feed. Scorpions mainly eat other small arthropods and insects.
The oldest fossil records ever found by scientists can be dated from about 425-450 million years ago, when the first scorpions came to earth.

Curiosity

When a scorpion is put under a glass, it will feel threatened and it will shrink itself in a circle shape, pretending to be dead. But watch out, it's not really dead!

The Venom

All the species of scorpion's have venom, but in different amounts. They use it for killing or neutralizing prey, or even for self-defense. Most scorpion's bite are harmless to humans, causing only local effects, such as pain and numbness. However, some species are extremely dangerous and cause human deaths all over Africa and Middle-East. Most famous species for human death are the Deathstalker (scientific name: Leiurus quinquestriatus) and the fat-tailed scorpion (scientific name:Androctonus).

Deathstalker.jpg

Deathstalker

Glossary


Abnormality : something that is not normal among the individuals of a same specie.
Book Lungs: A book lung is a type of respiration organ used for atmospheric gas exchange in arachnids species. They are named after its folded shaped.
Carapace: its a part of the exoskeleton (external bone structure) that is located on the back of some arthropods.