Grasshopper mice are small, but they are real killers.
They even eat scorpions.
Incredible but true, the scorpion venom makes the mouse temporarily impervious to pain. As a result, it can attack and eat the scorpion, even if it is hit several times by the poisonous sting. This unique mechanism was described by a group of U.S. researchers in the journal “Science”.
The team led by Ashlee Rowe of the University of Texas and Yucheng Xiao from Indiana University examined the impact of stitches of North and Central America scorpion species (Centruroides spp.) on grasshopper and house mice.
Scorpion venom causes severe pain in house mice. In the grasshopper mice, however, the toxin leads to a blockage of pain signals. This makes the mice temporarily insensitive to pain, which allows them to attack the scorpion.
Grasshopper mice are native to North America and Mexico, and are genetically close to the house mouse. In contrast to most other rodents, they are carnivorous and feed on insects, scorpions, snake and small vertebrates.