Scorpions pack a powerful sting. Most scorpion stings hurt a lot but are not deadly. The bark scorpion, however, is potentially deadly.

Scorpions are found throughout Texas and in many other parts of the globe. Worldwide, there are more than a thousand kinds. They range in size from a half-inch to more than 8 inches in length. About 20 species have venom toxic enough to cause human death.

A prehistoric creature, fossilized scorpions 400 million years old have been found preserved in rock, looking nearly identical to their modern-day relatives. Some of these old timers are thought to have been up to three feet long; not something you’d want to meet in your backyard at night.

Dr. Risk is a professor emeritus and biologist in the College of Forestry and Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. Email:

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