Professor Claw the Emperor Scorpion

This episode is sponsored by CuriosityStream
and you can go to wonders to learn more.
Hello and welcome to Animal Wonders! Today I’d like to introduce you
to Professor Claw. She’s a beautiful emperor scorpion. I love
showing her off and educating about what makes these amazing animals so
interesting. [CHEERY INTRO MUSIC] This is where Professor Claw lives, and
she likes to spend her days burrowed under leaf litter or hidden under a log.
She’s most active at night, and she’ll come out and move around, sometimes
rearranging her space and making it more comfortable or better for hunting.
Professor Claw is a very docile scorpion, and that’s just her personality.
There are scorpions who are more high-strung and defensive than her, but
because she’s so easygoing, I’m able to pick her up and I can give you a closer look.
The first thing I do when I go to pick her up is to make sure I don’t
approach her like a predator might. If I come at her big and fast, she could react
defensively. I’m going to make my hand as flat as possible and move toward her
like I’m part of the ground. Being underneath her will help her
feel less threatened. Just look at her! Isn’t she beautiful? So let’s talk about how
these amazing arachnids hunt! To capture her prey, which consists
of mostly invertebrates or very small vertebrates like baby rodents,
she uses her claws to feel and grab. If you look closely, you can see little
hairs covering her claws. They’re sensitive, and by holding them in front,
she’ll be alerted to anything moving around near her. She does have eyes,
which are located on the top and also the front part of her head. They don’t have
great vision, but she can see the size of an animal in front of her. And if it’s
small enough to eat, she’ll grab and crush it with her pincers. If it’s large
and threatening, she’ll use her claws to defend herself as well as her stinger.
Emperor scorpions are the largest scorpion species in the world, but their
venom is very mild. They mainly use their large claws for attacking and defending,
but their sting does hurt and could deter a potential predator. If you want
to compare the sting to another animal, you could say it feels similar to a bee
sting. It hurts and you wouldn’t want to get stung twice, but it’s not deadly.
However, their venom is potent enough to incapacitate a small animal like a
cricket or baby rodent, which makes them easier to eat. When most people look at a
scorpion, it’s easy to think their claws are arms, but if you count their legs you
can see they have eight legs. And then, their pincers are a wholly different set
of appendages. These claws are actually pedipalps, which are
also found on spiders. They are located between their legs and their special
mouth parts called chelicerae. She uses her pedipalps to quickly
grab say, a cricket, and bring it close to her mouth and take tiny bites. Scorpion
chelicerae are really neat, and they basically look like another set of tiny
pincers. Professor Claw has been handled regularly and she’s familiar with the process,
but not all of them will be this calm. We actually rescued an adult female
years ago who ended up surprising us and giving birth to 20 scorplings. We kept
two of the babies, and Professor Claw is one of them. We also had her sister who
we named Athena. The two sisters were raised the same, but their personalities
were completely different. Athena was not a fan of being picked up at all and
would put her claws and stinger up in a defensive position whenever there was
any movement around her. Athena never settled down, and so she
never became an ambassador for our educational presentations. So that’s a
good reminder that every animal is an individual and you can never assume that
you know how they will behave just because you’ve met another of their species.
You need to take the time to get to know the personality of any animal
before trying to handle them. Okay, I’m going to put Professor Claw back in her
home now. You can see that she has a few different places where she can hide.
She likes her coconut shell hut a lot, but she’ll also crawl under the cork
bark tunnel and sometimes she’ll hang out in the back corner. She has a
good-sized water dish filled with chunks of gelatin to keep it from drying out
too quickly. She also has plenty of natural furniture to climb on
and explore. She’ll often rearrange the leaf litter
or excavate her burrows. We keep the room at about 77 degrees Fahrenheit most of the time,
and it will range from 80 down to 72. We also make sure a portion of the
substrate always stays moist while the other side stays dry. We do this by
misting the back corner daily. This way, she can choose where she wants to hang
out and regulate herself. My favorite thing about emperor scorpions is that
they have this amazing weapon: their stinger attached to the telson, which
stores venom. But they rarely use the venom and instead use their powerful
claws most of the time. Scorplings, who aren’t as powerful as an adult,
will use their stinger more frequently, often stinging their prey repeatedly
until they can no longer move. Thankfully, Professor Claw is comfortable
with me handling her, so that I can hold her and share her with others.
And thank you for letting me share her with you. If you enjoy exploring and thinking
about our natural world and the organisms that live here like I do, then
you should check out this video I recently watched called The Material World.
It takes a look at some of the most amazing structures made in nature.
You can find it on CuriosityStream, who is the sponsor of today’s video. They’re
are a subscription streaming service that offers over 2400 documentaries and
nonfiction titles from some of the world’s best filmmakers, including
exclusive originals. Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month. And for
our audience, the first 30 days are completely free if you sign up at and use the promo code “animalwonders”
during the signup process. Thank you and I’ll see you next week!

81 thoughts on “Professor Claw the Emperor Scorpion

  1. What does the exoskeleton between her plates feel like? It looks surprisingly soft.
    edit: talking about her sides, specifically

  2. My scorpions would always just run fast off my hand and fall.
    Also, the coolest arachnid enclosure I had by far was a large tank with 5 asain forest scorpions. 3 of them were the same size, 1 was huge, and another was small. The small and big one became friend. The small one would sleep under the big one. The other 3 would always do this really cool challenge to the big one. They stomp side to side and wag their tail. Usually they don't want to kill each other but just challenge.
    The bigger one always made the other 3 run away. It was amazing to watch! I learned so much about them

  3. I find it odd that I never found scorpions creepy, even though I used to have mild arachnophobia. I guess it was the eyes; all the clearly visible, never blinking eyes the spiders have made them feel super 'alien', whereas with scorpions you can't even see the eyes. It wasn't until I came across jumping spiders that the phobia went away (almost). From what I've heard, the famous animated version of jumping spiders – Lucas – has done the same to many YouTube regulars.

  4. THAT'S the biggest in the world?? I think I must have looked at too many fossils, she definitely read as medium-small to me. That's adorable, frankly.
    My zodiac sign is scorpio, and as the smallest person I know irl, Professor Claw is very relatable! <3

  5. I'm sorry, this is one species that I am NOT a fan of. It probably goes back to my days in the Army, and being in pitch black tunnels with hundreds (at least) of them.
    The Professor does seem like a very good scorpion, though.

  6. i get get feeling that professor claw would keep rolling her eyes the whole time she was being handled if she could. if it is not food it is not interesting to her.

  7. Yay! I love arachnids. Thanks for showing Dr Claw off to us! Oh wait, that was the villain from Inspector Gadget. Professor Claw it is!

  8. Again, Thanks Jessie for bringing knowledge about these different species and how every one has a different personality and how animals are individuals and we need to respect that and not to make broad generalizations about their behavior.

  9. Hey love your channel I was wondering what educational route you took to get into the field you did, I was planning to take a zoology route and you litealy have my dream job

  10. I am not a fan of arachnids in the sense of personally touching. I do NOT like that sensation and the bigger they are the more anxious I get. It was amazing to watch her wander around on your hands so calmly, but you are much much braver than I am.

    I don't interfere with most spiders that I see out in the world, though. They are important critters and I want them around! I just don't want them ON me, haha! The only species I tend to eliminate are wolf spiders. We get very large female wolf spiders around here, and they can be super aggressive. Plus, they usually only want to come inside someone's house when they're about to spawn…and I don't at all want a half-million tiny crawlies on my pillow! Their usual prey in this region is usually crickets and various ants, as wolf spiders are jumpers and ambushers, not web builders, so I don't feel bad about squishing one if she's in my house. (I will try catching first, to relocate the creature outside, but it's one chance and then destruction.)

    As I'm sure you know already, the trouble with spider bites isn't usually the venom…it's that their mouth parts are not exactly the cleanest, and infections are really common. Two of the people in my family are immune-system impaired, and we've had nasty run ins with the microscopic variety of bug. We don't take risks about spiders or fleas…!

  11. Anyone know what the weird antenna looking things were below the scorpion's belly? I have no clue what the actual term for them is and I'm sure they're important and do something, but if someone could educate me, please do.

  12. I’ve read and seen in videos that if a scorpion has larger claws their venom tends to be milder, and if they have smaller claws the venom is more potent

  13. The Video on the scorpion was fascinating but I would be too afraid to pick one up. Your brave Jessi. Thanks for sharing:)

  14. I love how whenever Jessi is introduced, there’s a small sign that says “Human/Host”.

    They should change the former in one of the videos to see if people are paying attention lol

  15. I actually have been stung by an emperor scorpion before it doesnt even hurt it will just make your finger to numb for a few hours

  16. Enclosure is fine.. Well, except for that water bowl with water gel crystals because P. imperators are well known to fully submerge themselves underwater to rinse off any debris like mud sediments that's been stuck in its body while living in the muddy the jungle floor, especially after a rain. My pet P. imperators does that sometimes.. I witnessed my adult H. petersii doing the same thing too..

  17. Scorpling is such a great word. She's so chill! The anecdote about Athena is a great reminder that each individual is just that, a unique individual!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *