Western Canada’s wind scorpions are highly aggressive predators armed with huge jaws and attitudes to match
Arid regions of southern British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan
WHY SO SPECIAL
Largest jaws for its size of any land invertebrate
The wind scorpion, also called a camel spider and sun spider, is neither a scorpion nor a spider, though they are related. These rapacious two- to three-centimetre-long hunters are arachnids belonging to a group called solifugids. They are highly aggressive predators armed with huge jaws and attitudes to match; one scientist described them as the “great white sharks of the invertebrate world.” The wind scorpions’ jaw-like pincers can be more than a quarter of their body length. They work like two pairs of powerful crushing scissors to pierce and pulverize their prey. They can then suck up the liquefied remains. Wind scorpions hunt insects, especially ants, termites and beetles, as well as close relatives such as spiders, scorpions and centipedes. Despite their intimidating appearance, they are harmless to humans.