Dear All – greetings from the Turkana Basin Institute in Northern Kenya.
This afternoon while I was working in my lab I heard a soft rustling noise coming from the waste-paper basket.
At first I thought that yet another careless gecko had gotten itself trapped, but on closer inspection found a small scorpion hiding within.
As I gently eased her out to release her, I noticed there was something odd about her appearance. On looking closer I discovered that she was carrying a precious cargo of babies on her back!
Scorpions are one of many animals, including invertebrates that provide tender, loving maternal care for their offspring. While many of the arthropods simply lay eggs and abandon them to their fate, a few engage in a different strategy of reproduction. Rather than ‘playing a lottery’ by producing umpteen offspring in the hope that a few survive, these creatures produce fewer offspring and protect and nurture them. This greatly increases their chances of survival, especially during the first few days of their lives when they are especially vulnerable…
A lovely example of the tenderness among creatures that many might find a little scary.
More from the wonderful world of creepy crawlies soon!