One of the earliest forms of land animal – Scorpions

The basic body design of the scorpion has remained unchanged for hundreds of millions of years (scorpion fossil records date back to 425-450 million years).  Dinosaurs only appeared on earth 200 million years later! Scorpions on land may have evolved from waterscorpions. The first totally terrestrial scorpion dates back to approxiamately 320 million years.

On Saturday 16th March 2013 museum scientist Mary Cole was collecting snails in the Great Fish River Nature Reserve when a large scorpion reared up from under an aloe leaf. After a while it relaxed down allowed allowed a photo shoot!

Pictured below is the scorpion in question of the genus Parabuthus. 20 species of this genus occur in southern Africa – they are large and the most venomous in the region.

Picture credit: Kevin Cole

Picture credit: Kevin Cole

Sexual dimorphism occurs in the species with the male being smaller and more slender than the females.


Site locality of the scorpion find in the Great Fish River NR

About East London Museum Science

Conservation Biologist East London Museum South Africa
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