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Mouse eats scorpions and howls at the moon

 
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Mouse eats scorpions and howls at the moon
The arid badlands of south-western US and adjacent regions of Mexico, in burrows stolen from other rodents

In the dark expanses of the Sonoran desert in the US, a terrifying creature stalks the night, searching for fresh meat. Anything will do: crickets, rodents, tarantulas – the nastier the better.

Even the poisonous scorpion cannot escape the savage monster's little pink paws. It fights bravely, stinging its attacker on the nose. To no avail. The mouse ignores the painful venom and cruelly breaks the scorpion's tail by pummelling it into the ground, then bites its head and feasts on its flesh. Throwing its head back, the murderous animal howls at the moon.

No, it's not the mythical Chupacabra. It's the southern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys torridus), the only carnivorous mouse in North America. Its unique biology and resistance to scorpion venom may one day help researchers treat human pain disorders. But for now, it's just after blood.

Natural born killer

From the day they are born, grasshopper mice are natural killers. Even pups born and raised in captivity quickly figure out how to take down prey much larger than themselves. They appear to learn some of their aggression from their fathers: pups raised with two parents are more likely to bully other mice and attack insects more viciously than those raised by single mothers.

Their manners don't improve with age. Rather than making their own nests, grasshopper mice take over burrows built by other rodents, removing the occupants by force if necessary.

In tough times, the mice will kill and eat other rodents, even those of their own species. Naturalists tell of finding a circus of different flea species on the animals; seemingly souvenirs from their various victims.

Venom? Pah!

But perhaps more interesting than their cannibalism is their resistance to the venom of the Arizona bark scorpions (Centruroides sp) that share their desert. Among the most poisonous scorpions in the world, Centruroides' painful venom causes muscle contractions and respiratory failure in humans. Yet grasshopper mice kill and eat them without pause.

LINK: [link to www.newscientist.com]


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Anonymous Coward
User ID: 30983109
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01/12/2013 09:54 PM
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Re: Mouse eats scorpions and howls at the moon
I love it. The mouse that roared!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 32073216
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01/12/2013 09:59 PM
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Re: Mouse eats scorpions and howls at the moon
Impressed.
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01/12/2013 09:59 PM
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Re: Mouse eats scorpions and howls at the moon
I love it. The mouse that roared!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 30983109


ohyeah
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The content of posts on this site, including but not limited to links to other web sites, are the expressed opinion of the original poster and are in no way representative of or endorsed by the owners or administration of this website. The posts on this website are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or factual information on behalf of the owner or administration of GodlikeProductions. This site may contain adult language, if you feel you might be offended by such content, you should log off immediately.

Not all posts on this website are intended as truthful or factual assertion by their authors. Some users of this website are participating in internet role playing, with or without the use of an avatar. NO post on this website should be considered factual information on face value alone.

"If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."- Samuel Adams

"...It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.."
--Samuel Adams

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.
--John F. Kennedy

The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.
--John F. Kennedy

Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.
--John F. Kennedy

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
--Albert Einstein

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