Burying their Dead

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
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Hey, looking at some threads about p. imperator on here I am reminded of something that happened a few years ago, when we had a few living together. I think there were three or four at the time and the biggest one had slowly been becoming less active until it eventually was lying quite still out in the open. Not wanting to bother it until I was certain it was dead, I left it there to see. Next I checked it was gone so I concluded it must not have been dead after all.
...Until a little later I noticed a smell in the cage. So I did a little poking around and found that the other scorpions had actually buried our dead friend underneath their hide, around the middle. It was fully covered and did not have a mark on it nor was damaged in any way.
I'm not sure why they would do this. Just cleaning up? Saving it for later? Trying to keep scavengers and pests away? I dunno. Anybody else every have their scorpions fo this?
 

Michiel

Arachnoking
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I think you are misinterpreting things. Scorpions are not known to bury their dead. Maybe the others dragged it under the cork, but if they had special intentions, we will never know.....but it is a remarkable anecdote.....
 

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
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That is what I said. I have no idea why they did it, but since they were the only ones in the tank it is almost certain that they did. I was pretty sure the one was dead already when it was sitting out in the open, and even if it was not quite gone I doubt that, feeble as it was, it suddenly decided to go bury itself. I don't think it would even have been able to.
However if it did, on the verge of death, go and bury itself in the middle of the hide that raises as many interesting questions as if the other scorpions had done it for her.
 

Michiel

Arachnoking
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That is what I said. I have no idea why they did it, but since they were the only ones in the tank it is almost certain that they did. I was pretty sure the one was dead already when it was sitting out in the open, and even if it was not quite gone I doubt that, feeble as it was, it suddenly decided to go bury itself. I don't think it would even have been able to.
However if it did, on the verge of death, go and bury itself in the middle of the hide that raises as many interesting questions as if the other scorpions had done it for her.
I agree, both scenario's, self burial or buried by cagemates would be equally amazing.....:D And then "they" say scorpions are boring animals.....:rolleyes::D
 

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
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Oh wait, Michiel. Sorry, it just occured to me that it sounds as if you thought I meant that they had just dragged her body out of sight. Actually, it was quite literally buried. It was under their hide AND completely covered in a decent layer of substrate. When I couldn't find it I thought that they may have eaten it and only searched further because I could still smell it. I finally found it after I poked some substrate around.
I posted it here because I thought it strange.

Knight in Gale
 

Michiel

Arachnoking
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Hi,

LOL, no I got that. I understood you the first time. We all know scorpions can dig, but after digging, putting a dead scorp in and bury it.....If that's intentional, I WILL eat my next turd!
Exceptional story.....

enjoy your weekend! Almost time to go home and far away from this boring office building....
 

gromgrom

Arachnoprince
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Hi,

LOL, no I got that. I understood you the first time. We all know scorpions can dig, but after digging, putting a dead scorp in and bury it.....If that's intentional, I WILL eat my next turd!
Exceptional story.....

enjoy your weekend! Almost time to go home and far away from this boring office building....
nah, its proof theyre evolving and gaining sentience :D
 

signinsimple

Arachnobaron
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Another possible scenario:

The dieing scorpion, although still for some time, crawls back into it's hide to escape the light (or for whatever other reasons scorpions are more comfortable in a hide).

It dies shortly later :(. The other scorpions don't particularly care and treat it like a branch or rock in their way.

Like most scorpions, they start expanding their burrow and dig deeper. While they are digging, they move the substrate back away from them and over the dead scorpion, and past it too.

After a few iterations of this, the dead scorpion is covered in dirt. The dirt gets packed down because the other scorpions walk over it continually day in and day out.

The scorpion looks like it was intentionally buried.

Just a thought. Most of the scorpions I've had that died of natural causes, did so in a burrow. They weren't buried, but then they were alone in their cage. And I know I've definately found half eaten feeders buried in burrows before, as well as pushed out of the burrows with substrate while the scorpion was digging
 
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Jorpion

Arachnobaron
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Another possible scenario:

The dieing scorpion, although still for some time, crawls back into it's hide to escape the light (or for whatever other reasons scorpions are more comfortable in a hide).

It dies shortly later :(. The other scorpions don't particularly care and treat it like a branch or rock in their way.

Like most scorpions, they start expanding their burrow and dig deeper. While they are digging, they move the substrate back away from them and over the dead scorpion, and past it too.

After a few iterations of this, the dead scorpion is covered in dirt. The dirt gets packed down because the other scorpions walk over it continually day in and day out.

The scorpion looks like it was intentionally buried.

Just a thought. Most of the scorpions I've had that died of natural causes, did so in a burrow. They weren't buried, but then they were alone in their cage. And I know I've definately found half eaten feeders buried in burrows before, as well as pushed out of the burrows with substrate while the scorpion was digging
I agree with this scenario as well. These scorps never stop digging/burrowing, so you're bound to see many things "buried."
 

Michiel

Arachnoking
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Another possible scenario:

The dieing scorpion, although still for some time, crawls back into it's hide to escape the light (or for whatever other reasons scorpions are more comfortable in a hide).

It dies shortly later :(. The other scorpions don't particularly care and treat it like a branch or rock in their way.

Like most scorpions, they start expanding their burrow and dig deeper. While they are digging, they move the substrate back away from them and over the dead scorpion, and past it too.

After a few iterations of this, the dead scorpion is covered in dirt. The dirt gets packed down because the other scorpions walk over it continually day in and day out.

The scorpion looks like it was intentionally buried.

Just a thought. Most of the scorpions I've had that died of natural causes, did so in a burrow. They weren't buried, but then they were alone in their cage. And I know I've definately found half eaten feeders buried in burrows before, as well as pushed out of the burrows with substrate while the scorpion was digging

Indeed a plausible scenario.....
 

KnightinGale

Arachnoknight
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Could be, I suppose. I certainly don't want to rule anything out simply because I think the other scenario is cooler. However, I don't want to think of an elaborate story to explain away behavior just because it is unexpected either. The one thing that bothers me about this explanation is that it really was not that long a time. There was certainly no "day after day" scenario. I thought the girl was on death's door and was keeping an eye out. It doesn't take long at all for them to start to smell so she really wasn't out of sight after that first encounter for more than a day or two. Considering that she was thoroughly covered from chelae to telson in such a short time I thought there might be something purposeful in it.
I honestly don't think it would be entirely fantastic if they did at least cover her up where she died. Arachnids are generally quite clean creatures. They groom fastidiously, I've kept web spiders that always deposit their remains in a certain pile away from their retreat, tarantulas that tamp down their food boluses in a discreet corner. It is probably part of an instinct to keep parasitic mites, predatory ants and scavengers away from their home. I don't see why they might not have covered up a much larger piece of carrion for the same reason.
By the way, thank you all for taking part in this discussion, even if you don't agree with me. To me, that is what this board is all about...learning more about these fascinating creatures and discussing ideas about them. They are far from completely figured out and by objectively discussing each other's observations, we do them that much more credit on the way to understanding. Cheers!

Knight in Gale
 

Stewjoe

Arachnosquire
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Sep 4, 2010
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They are smarter

Gentlemen(women) It appears we have an outbreak of super intelligent arthropods on our hands. I caught mine boosting the other one out of the tank, who knows what would have happened if it escaped.

 

ZergFront

Arachnoprince
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Oh my God, they are becoming smarter like the Shriekers! (Tremors fan) :D
 

signinsimple

Arachnobaron
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I'd like to believe that these little guys are smart as hell myself. The only problem is that intelligence would command consistent behavior when something obviously benefited the organism towards their goals. I've had some H. Spadix do the same thing (climbing over cage mates getting them a bit higher towards the top of the cage..yes I keep them communally with no incident).

They dont do it consistently at all. Just random climbing, even when a cage mate is right there providing a scorpion ladder.

Regarding the buried dead. You'd be surprised how much dirt a scorpion or 2 can move and compact down in a short period of time. More than enough to bury a scorp in a single night at times. And I have seen scorpions seemingly keeping they're burrow clean, but it has usually been by moving the rotting carcases out of the burrow entirely.
 

arachnophile223

Arachnoknight
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Oct 14, 2010
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224
it may have been intentional, but not as too be any form of "mourning". however i have observed my scorps re-arrange the tank and decorations. i have also heard stories about tarantulas who exhibit this type of behavior. in a book about their captive care, a keeper experimentally put a toy car into the enclosure of an E. smithi and she proceeded to bury it.
 
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