Scorpions scare people because in the movies they are portrayed as fearsome and deadly monsters.  

It is true that scorpions are venomous and can sting people. It is also true, though, that most scorpions are extremely shy animals that live under rocks, in holes, and other places where they want nothing to do with people.

Scorpions live on every continent except for Antarctica.

In the Western Ghats region of India, scientists have described seven new scorpion species.  

A scorpion belonging to the Isometrus species, taken under UV light. Photo by Shubhankar Deshpande.

Four of these species are lithophilic, meaning that they live only in rocky areas.  

Being isolated to rocky areas is good for hiding, but it can be a problem for conservation because if the rocky areas are disturbed by humans, the lithophilic species that live there have nowhere else to go.

Basaltic boulders are possible habitats of the lithophilic scorpions. Photo by Shubhankar Deshpande.

Scorpions use their venom to capture their prey, mostly small insects and other invertebrates. They also use their venomous stings for self-defense.  

Biomedical researchers are studying the chemical composition of scorpion venom for its potential ability to kill cancer cells.

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