Yeah that’s right we said “Mouseles”. Well, ok, that’s a made up word, but oh so appropriate for what you’re about to witness.
In addition to saturating our senses with more MMA news than you can shake a fist at (a very, very big fist) we also read the science journals and we found a really nice ‘little’ story for you today. As MMA fans we are used to seeing some pretty extreme things being done to the human body, but how many people do you know that would dine on a nice live Arizona bark scorpion!
What if we told you, the now scientifically proclaimed natural martial artist, the Grasshopper Mouse does this with little to no effort! Perhaps this is a time when the old question “Are you a man or a mouse?” might lead to an answer you wouldn’t expect.
Dr. Ashlee Rowe, Michigan State University assistant professor of neuroscience and zoology told MSU Today, “The grasshopper mouse has developed the evolutionary equivalent of martial arts to use the scorpions’ greatest strength against them.”
Who’d guess that something so small can be so tough? Well that’s one of the first lessons you learn in many martial arts.
The bark scorpion is a known killer, with it’s venom able to easily immobilize smaller prey. Larger animals however are also at risk, as are adult human beings. While fatalities from the bark scorpion’s venom are rare in Northern America, it has been known to kill small pets, babies, children and even adults with compromised immune systems.
Our neighbors in the south however aren’t so lucky. Over 100 thousand people are stung annually in Mexico and during a peak period during the 1980’s the scorpion’s venom claimed over 800 lives.
So how about this mouse? What makes it able to withstand the sting and make a nice snack out of this crafty critter? While it is clear that the resistance is hereditary and generally known to be consistent across this specific breed of rodent, the real surprise from Rowe’s findings weren’t in establishing the resistance exists but rather the fact that for the grasshopper mouse the bark scorpion’s venom acts as an analgesic (pain killer)!
How’s that for using your opponent’s strengths against them? This is truly supreme elegance in natural evolution.