- Not Exactly Rocket Science
This Mouse Turns Agonising Scorpion Venom Into a Painkiller
Move aside, honey badger. There’s a new contender for the most badass mammal: the southern grasshopper mouse. This little creature from the south-western USA attacks and eats bark scorpions—a group of large arachnids, whose stings are incredibly painful and often fatal. When humans get stung, they say the pain’s like having a cigarette stubbed out on your skin, followed by hours of throbbing. The toxins should easily be powerful enough to kill a small rodent.
But the grasshopper mouse doesn’t care.
It viciously attacks and eats bark scorpions. When it gets stung—and it gets stung a lot—it barely seems to notice. Ashlee Rowe from Michigan State University (and formerly the University of Texas at Austin) has discovered how it copes.