back to article Hard-as-woodpecker-lips MOUSE GOBBLES live scorpion, LAUGHS off stings to face

Top scientists have discovered grasshopper mice feel no pain when they are stung in the face by scorpions: they simply carry on gobbling up the fearsome poisonous arachnids. Youtube Video CONTENDERS!! ARE YOU REEEEADY?! The mighty mouse, native to the southwestern US, has managed to take the toxin, which is lethal to other …


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  1. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    How friggin awesome is evolution!

    See Title.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

      I think you find this is intelligent design at work. Although that does imply that the head of design is a grasshopper mouse. Which is a bit H2G2.

      1. Shagbag

        Magic Man Done It

        Go Intelligent Design! Whoa! Bring it on!

        1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

          Re: Magic Man Done It

          "Go Intelligent Design! Whoa! Bring it on!"

          True enough. Nature isn't intelligent, nature is a frigging genius at creating problems and creatures evolving brilliant solutions quite quickly.

    2. Velv

      Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

      It can't be evolution - if the poison kills you, then you can't breed in a protection against it, therefore this is 100% proof that evolution does not exist. Protection could only be given by God.

      God must have given these mice the protection for a reason. Probably so the scorpions have a natural predatory so that they don't explode in numbers and maintain the balance of life. (oh, wait, natural selection would be, er, evolution at work).

      Hey, it's Friday afternoon, nothing like a bit of trolling to wile away an afternoon if you're stuck in the office and not in the pub.

      Long live evolution :)

      1. Frankee Llonnygog

        Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

        So ... God is a mouse?

        1. Suburban Inmate

          Close enough Frankee

          They're hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who commissioned the construction of Earth.

          1. AussieinHK

            Re: Close enough Frankee

            I doubt many US based readers would appreciate the connection...

            1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

              Re: Close enough Frankee

              A few of we US citizens do read books. Of those, a modest number have learned to believe those friendly words, "Don't panic!". :)

        2. Frankee Llonnygog

          Re: So ... God is a mouse?

          1 thumbs down for "So ... God is a mouse?". I didn't know cats had thumbs

      2. Andrew Moore

        Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

        I know you are trolling but this probably supports evolution more- the mice that don't have the immunity die and therefore do not procreate, whereas the ones that do, get to pass on that trait to the next generation.

        I will now prove that black is white and die on a zebra crossing.

    3. tonysmith

      Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

      Realistically what are the odds of a mouse, which presumably can find other creatures to eat, comes along but due to some odd occurrence happens to have a natural genetic mutation that allows it to survive the stings, lives long enough to mate and those particular genes get carried forward to the next generation.

      Then some time down the line one of its descendants has a genetic mutation that turns this toxin into something that also numbs the pain.

      And if it didn't have other creatures to eat we have to factor in the chances of the whole species just being wiped out.

      I'm not talking God vs Evolution - I'm talking mathematically what are the odds.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

        If the chance was 100 billion billion to 1 before the event happened. After the event happen the chance was 1:1, it's the other 999999...:1 things that didn't happen.

        For instance, if you were to pick a grain of sand anywhere on the planet and then asked me to go an pick a grain of sand the chance of me picking the same grain of sand would be unimaginable. However if there was no precursor and I just happened to have picked up a grain a sand the chance of me picking up that particular grain of sand is 1:1.

        Once an event has happened, trying to statistically work back to the chance of that event happening and determining therefore that the result is, in itself, an impossibly rare occurrence and therefore couldn't have happened (without the help 'magic') is a fallacy.

        1. P. Lee

          Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

          > If the chance was 100 billion billion to 1 before the event happened. After the event happen the chance was 1:1, it's the other 999999...:1 things that didn't happen.

          Which event? The genetic mutation? Not being eaten by an owl? Finding a mouse-mate with matching genes? How many times did that genetic mutation occur without all the other factors being in place?

          With the lack of mice relative to the odds, this looks like homeopathy. I'm well, therefore homeopathy works. Since it exists, it did evolve. Against any odds, evolution is the cause because we have already removed all other options from consideration.

          1. Wzrd1 Silver badge

            Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

            "Which event? The genetic mutation? Not being eaten by an owl?"

            Owls aren't that common in the SE US. It's largely desert.

            That harsh environment actually improves the odds of the odd mutation or three.

            1. Nigel 11

              Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

              It can't be evolution - if the poison kills you, then you can't breed in a protection against it, therefore this is 100% proof that evolution does not exist.

              I should think that how this evolves is something like this.

              To start with, the mice attacked scorpions the same way mongooses attack cobras. Very carefully. They're faster and smarter than their prey, so mostly they get to eat it rather than die. The less nimble ones get dead more often, and the species gets nimbler. Note that all hot-blooded species have a fundamental advantage over cold-blooded ones in the morning, before the cold-blooded ones have a chance to re-warm their bodies from the overnight chill.

              Sometimes when battling or eating the prey, a small amount of venom gets into their bloodstream. Enough to harm but be survivable. Genetic variability means that for the higher doses, some survive and some don't. Gradually, genetic tolerance of the venom gets bred in. When a sting ceases to be lethal 100% of the time, risk-taking mice gain an evolutionary advantage over the original extremely risk-averse mice.

              And so by slow and gradual evolution, you arrive at mice that laugh at scorpion venom.

              I'd guess that the final stage is that mice which feel less pain when stung have a slight advantage over ones which do. Pain is distracting, so they more often get caught by larger predators if they suffer pain? That would create an evolutionary bias in favour of "hard" mice.

              One other thing: ability to acquire tolerance of venoms by an individual is near-universal in mammals, including humans. It's the standard immune system response. The immune activity degrades a foreign protein before it can fatally degrade the host's proteins, and is then primed to mount the same response faster and better next time. Immune responses are passed (or primed) from mother to child via breast-milk. It's an area we don't yet fully understand. There may be epigenetic factors at work, and Lamarkian evolution may not be completely discredited when it comes to inherited immune response. Just a thought.

            2. Sarah Balfour

              Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

              What about them owls wot live in cacti...? Thought they were native to AZ and TX - or am I imagining things again...?! Maybe I should quit posting when Jacobed - but then I'd not post at all (shut it! I can read the collective mind of Reg regulars, y'know...).

      2. nanchatte

        Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

        Judging by your down votes, I'd say about a 0 in 4 chance and declining.

      3. Wzrd1 Silver badge

        Re: How friggin awesome is evolution!

        The odds are far greater for the mouse to have all that fall into place than for the platypus to have survived to the current day.

        Funny thing about playing the odds with nature, on occasion she leaves one with some serious head scratchers!

  2. MJI Silver badge

    Cool mouse

    Great bit of evolution there

  3. Ebaneezer Wanktrollop

    Grasshopper? Surely.....

    Chuck Norris mouse?

    1. Marvin the Martian

      Re: Grasshopper? Surely.....

      Chuck Norris?! You seem to have never heard of David Carradine, if that were possible?

      " If that is our destiny, you cannot change it. But do not go with fear, Grasshopper; fear is eternal darkness. Go instead with inner strength, for it is like a deep river into which all streams flow. It increases, always moving forward; and soon, there is nothing that can stand in it's way. " -- Master Po

      1. Drew Lunn

        Re: Grasshopper? Surely.....

        Although I enjoy your logic, I'm fairly sure the mouse isn't going to die from auto-erotic asphyxiation if multiple scorpion stings to the face don't even faze it. The mouse must be Chuck Norris, as it doesn't HAVE to breath while it jerks off, it CHOOSES to.

        1. Captain Save-a-ho

          Re: Grasshopper? Surely.....

          Nah, Chuck just roundhouse kicks at the air until it's forced into his lungs.

  4. James Cooke

    This is pure darwinian evolution at work and when you see all these wonderful little adaptations taking place is does make the whole process seem pretty awesome.

  5. Francis Boyle

    The explanation's simple

    grasshopper mouse just don't give a shit.

  6. hplasm

    Grasshopper Mouse-

    Student of Mouster Po.

  7. codejunky Silver badge


    Gives an advantage to one while taking from the other. Very impressive to see

  8. Malc

    Hair of the mouse?

    Can Boffins not take this research further and produce an effective hangover cure?

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: Hair of the mouse?

      Possibly - but you may need to have been drinking scorpion venom.

      1. Velv

        Re: Hair of the mouse?

        Scorpion Venom?

        El Reg: Sounds like we need a session concocting a new cocktail.

        To the pub ...

    2. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hair of the mouse?

      "an effective hangover cure?"

      One that involves a new way of processing beer

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The crazy nastyass grasshopper mouse.

      No, the hardest would be the rockhopper. Also, F Boyle did already say that.

  10. Crisp

    Quite possibly the hardest mouse in the world.

    I bet he drinks Carling Black Label

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Quite possibly the hardest mouse in the world.

      Don't be daft. Carling BL is just watered down mouse piss....oh! I see what you did there.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Evolution at work

    So how come dogs haven't evolved to tolerate the theobromine in chocolate?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Evolution at work

      "So how come dogs haven't evolved to tolerate the theobromine in chocolate?"

      Because Cadbury's hasn't been around for a millennia.

      Or you cloud believe dogs are evil and mice get divine intervention, anyway, shouldn't you be out assimilating other [wrong] religious types?

      1. P. Lee

        Re: Evolution at work

        You're confusing evolution with natural selection.

        You don't gain immunity from trying, you merely kill off the non-immune dogs.

        The genetic complexity has to already exist.

    2. Boris J's Quiff

      Re: Evolution at work

      Perhaps it's because they haven't spent millions of years having to eat Dairy Milk to survive.

      1. tonysmith

        Re: Evolution at work

        But the mouse must have had other things to eat too? If it didn't then what are the chances of this mutation occurring before the mouse species is wiped out by the stings?

        If the odds of this occurrence is high over a large number of years then why haven't other animals also evolved to eat this scorpion?

        1. handle

          Re: Evolution at work

          Read a good book that explains the subtleties of evolution, such as Almost LIke a Whale - it will answer all your questions.

      2. Martin Budden Silver badge

        Re: Evolution at work

        I suppose it is possible that the Mexican hairless dog, a pre-Columbian breed from an area with long-established cacao cultivation in the order of several millennia, may have developed some theobromine tolerance. Further study is required.

  12. FuzzyTheBear

    Holy cow Batman

    What a mouse ! .. Stung repeatedly in the face and just keeps going.

    Mighty Mouse eat your heart out ! we just found SuperMouse :)

    IT angle ? none perhaps but what a video ! .. Thanks for posting.

  13. Eradicate all BB entrants

    Are you ......

    ...... a man or a mouse?

    A mouse, a badass grasshopper mouse.

  14. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Two for one

    A supper and a botox shot in one great deal. All in the mouse's night...

    1. Intractable Potsherd

      Re: Two for one

      Nice Genesis* reference there!

      *Pop group, not opening chapter of Ye Olde Booke of Desert Fairie Tayles.

      1. Martin Budden Silver badge

        Re: Two for one

        Desert? Now yes, back then not so much.

  15. Just_this_guy

    I see that once again the right-wing media are giving us a bad rap. You will note that my unfortunate colleague was merely DEFENDING himself from the WHOLLY UNPROVOKED attack by that thuggish mouse - a mouse who still walks free.

    Now, I have nothing against mice. Some of my best friends are mice. I am absolutely not a mousist. BUT! We do not suffer these assaults from OTHER rodentines. When did you last see a rabbit attack a scorpion? What horny arthropod was ever exercised by the violent attentions of a red squirrel? For too long we have tolerated these scorpiophagic killings in the name of 'political correctness', but there comes a time when a line must be drawn. These mice must be punished! And if the individuals responsible cannot be identified (and let's face it, you can't tell them apart), then the regrettable consequence is that ALL of them must be made to suffer! Which is why we have engaged the services of Mr Thomas Cat Esquire.

    Jesus Thattertz

    Scorpion Solidarity League

    PS. Apologies if that sounded a little venomous.

    1. Maharg

      The Scorpion Solidarity League is not to be trusted!

      As always the left wing media has spun lies that the Scorpion Solidarity League has provided them with, if you view the unedited video, you will see that Jerry the mouse, was minding his own business when a gang of scorpions broke into his house (how else did they both get in there? And none of that ‘higher power BS), while the mouse was diplomatic enough to advise the other to leave, this scorpion, high on PCP remained in the home and attacked Jerry’s children.

      Jerry’s actions, while unfortunate, where completely in the name of defending his family, an investigation has revealed that this Scorpion was wanted for an unprovoked attack on a number of innocent chipmunks, one, known as ‘Alvin’ is still in intensive care.

      Once again the Scorpion Solidarity League (SSL) has used the fallout from actions its members instigated to attack the reputation of the peace loving Terrain Living Small-mammals group (TLS).

      The TLS will no longer put up with this hatred lies coming from the SSL, and the TLS, not SSL should be viewed as the preferred standard for information relating to these incidents.

      And don’t get me started on the VPN (Viper Protection Network).

      1. Just_this_guy


        Not for the first time, the so-called Terrain Living Small-mammals group slanders innocent scorpions, this time with a preposterous suggestion that the attack by one (or more?) of its members was some kind of scorpion sting operation. These smears and twisted tails are frankly tiresome, and we are once more obliged to consult our lawyers to consider our response. In the meantime, any responsible media with pretensions to impartiality should ENTIRELY IGNORE - and beware of repeating - the squeaking and bleating from the Nazi-fronting fur-bigots of the TLS.

        Clawed Turibbons

        Public Relations Tsar

        Scorpion Solidarity League

        1. Maharg


          The TLS will not take these threats made against it lightly, the Scorpion Solidarity League is known throughout the animal kingdom as not being trustworthy, and trying to brainwash our vulture friends with its lies is just the tip of the tall tail!

          I had a meeting with the head Tuna of the Federation of Intelligent Swimmers with Honor (FISH) recently.

          He said his members thought there was something fishy going on, the Welfare Of Otter’s Department (WOOD) says the SSL is a hardline Splinter Group, and I can smell a rat.

          the SSL need to BE INVESTAGED at once, our friends in the Dyslexic Unity of Promoting Animal Peace and Love (SPLGRU) have even distanced themselves from the SSL, and if even that bunch of hippies wont engage in talks with them then they are not to be trusted.

          As the TLS is a member of the Cute Responsible Animals Protectorate (CRAP) the TLS is to be trusted, because while everyone knows if an animal looks cute, it is harmless and sweet.

          Just like Polar Bears.

          Your friend

          Joseph Gerbils

          Propaganda minister

          Terrain Living Small-mammals

          1. Just_this_guy


            We will not resort to petty name-calling, it is beneath us, and we will not comment further on this matter until it is before the bench. But it's no accident that Himmler looked like a hamster.

            Creep E Crowley

            Director of Everything

            Scorpion Solidarity League

            PS. AND we've got more legs than you! Suck it up, quadrupedic losers!

            1. Martin Budden Silver badge

              Godwin's Law

              Sorry, you both lose. But thanks for a very amusing thread!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    by analogy

    they should develop something for our soldiers. Instead of dodging bullets they'd just absorb them and turn them into a barrage of sweets dispensed towards unsuspecting enemy, which will promptly drop their AKs in surprise, when blinded by a wall of m&s.

    1. PaulyV

      Re: by analogy

      A wall of moderately priced bras and non-iron shirts?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All Hail...

    our pain defying Grasshopper Mouse Overlords

  18. Stratman

    I for one

    welcome our murine overlords.

  19. armyknife


    For me this was the most interesting piece on the register today; maybe you guys could think of upping your game a bit in some areas of technology coverage, less articles about Apple vs X/rest of the world, perhaps?

  20. TitterYeNot


    I always wondered what happened to Danger Mouse...

  21. Johnny Canuck

    ...and not a single f@#k was given.

  22. Rukario

    Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel Evolution

    So electric mice then?

    Skorupi used Poison Jab.

    It's not very effective.

    Pikachu used Thunderbolt.

    The opposing Skorupi fainted.

    Pikachu used Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel (aka a Thunderstone).

    Congratulations! Pikachu evolved into Raichu!

  23. Anomalous Cowshed

    What's the big deal?

    Mice have been working as spies and superheroes on TV for decades and have been scaring women and elephants for millions of years. What's the big deal about a scorpion or two?

    1. Captain Save-a-ho

      Re: What's the big deal?

      None of those mice paraded around as the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal either.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The mouse's name is Kyle Reese.

    "Pain can be controlled - you just disconnect it."

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One slight problem...

    "This would mean that perhaps" is not theory or scientific "fact", it's a "hypothesis". I hate when either scientists or the articles about them get this wrong*. We can all theorize possible mechanisms, it's observing them, or confirming them scientifically that's important...

    "...This seemed very far out, but we wanted to test it anyway.” And he saves! Nice one Prof Zakon!

    *and it turns out this one did not. Colour me surprised Reg!

  26. Captain DaFt

    Bad ass little buggers

    They even howl like little wolves when they attack!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meerkat Manor

    I recall the meerkats ate scorpions all the time, so they must have been pretty resistant to the toxin and pain, if not equally evolved as this mouse.

  28. deadfamous

    Darwinian correction..

    Just a quick reminder - there's no such thing as evolution - it's natural selection....

    (for those non-religious zealots out there) I am not going to be another creature in the future, my progeny will simply have a better (or worse) chance of surviving....

    Which is why the mouse lives!!!

  29. Sarah Balfour

    Looks like some respondents forgot to evolve a sense of humour...

    This has GOT TO BE one of the - if not THE - funniest response threads I've read in my - at least 8 years - of lurking (and occasionally responding) here. I sincerely hope the respondent who called Godwin's was being sarcastic/ironic; if not, feck off and don't return until ya've developed a sense of humour!

    For a brief moment, I was overwhelmed by the Green-Eyed Monster, and considered down-voting every single one, cos I wish I'D thought of it! - but I couldn't! Sheer comedy GENIUS!

    Hey, Reg! Ever thought of collating some of these into a book, á la New Scientist's Last Word pages...? I'd buy it (and I strongly suspect I'd not be the only one...).

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