Zoologists filmed a gecko hitting a scorpion on the ground while hunting

(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists have studied how the gecko hunts scorpions. An article about this was published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

Usually geckos move relatively slowly and calmly, even when hunting, since many of their prey do not require quick jerks.

However, when a changeable coleonyx (Coleonyx variegatus) from the gecko order attacks a scorpion, grabbing its mouth, it begins to shake its head violently, continuously hitting the victim on the ground.

“Geckos are probably the least intimidating creature you’ll ever see,” says Malachi Whitford of the University of San Diego. “However, when they catch a scorpion, they turn into real berserkers.”

According to the study, this behavior helps protect against scorpion venom, as it is difficult for them to sting when continuously shaken and hit.

Other animals, like crocodiles and plantain cuckoos, also shake their victims to paralyze them, but this behavior has not been seen before in this species of gecko.

The researchers filmed the geckos at 1,200 frames per second and offered them different types of prey. Other victims, in addition to scorpions, they ate calmly.

However, only 62 percent of the scorpions remained motionless after shaking and hitting the ground, and most of the geckos were stung. Scientists suggest that shaking in any case reduced the amount of injected poison.

Now the researchers plan to repeat the experiments, filming them from multiple angles, using 3D modeling to understand what happens to the scorpion in the process.


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