Scorpions are predatory arthropod animals of the order Scorpiones within the class Arachnida. The eight-legged arthropod is easily recognised due to its pair of grasping claws and the narrow, segmented tail, carried in a characteristic forward curve over the back, ending with a venomous sting. Though the scorpion has a fearsome reputation as poisonous, only 25 species worldwide have venom capable enough to kill a human being. Scorpions are an important motif in human culture and folklore. While a variety of physiological, morphological, biochemical and ecological adaptations have allowed the scorpions to flourish on earth from the Silurian period (443 - 416 mya) onwards, the basic shape of the scorpion has not changed much.

Scorpions are found widely distributed south of about 49° N , except Antarctica, in a variety of terrestrial habitats except the high latitude tundra. They have been introduced by man to England and New Zealand. Scorpions number about 1400 described species and subspecies with thirteen extant families recognised as of date. However, the taxonomy has undergone changes and is likely to change as a number of genetic studies are bringing forth new information.

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