Scorpions look like small lobsters and may be the first animals to move from water to land hundreds of millions of years ago. They have been around since before the age of the dinosaurs. Fossils of scorpions from Scotland hundreds of millions of years ago show that their appearance hasn’t changed over the millennia, but they are now half the size of their ancient ancestors.
Only 30 or 40 species around the world have strong enough poison to kill a person. Each species has a special type of venom that works well against a chosen prey.
Scorpions typically eat insects, but when food is scarce, they can slow their metabolism to as little as one-third the typical rate for arthropods. This technique enables some species to use little oxygen and live on only one insect per year. Such survival skills allow scorpions to live in some of the planet's toughest environments. Researchers have even frozen scorpions overnight, only to put them in the sun the next day and watch them thaw out and walk away. However, they are burrowing animals, so in areas of permafrost or heavy grasses, where loose soil is not available, scorpions may not be able to survive.