This Mouse Uses Scorpion Venom As A Painkiller So It Can Eat Them

Cute and deadly.

1. If you had to pick who would win in a fight between a cute little mouse and a venomous scorpion, you’d pick scorpion, right?

Matthew and Ashlee Rowe


2. Nope. It turns out grasshopper mice have evolved to resist bark scorpion venom.

Matthew and Ashlee Rowe

No matter how much it hurts, pain is actually pretty useful, so evolving to ignore it is rare.

3. The mice can’t even feel the scorpion’s sting.

Matthew and Ashlee Rowe

The venom seems to stop certain neurons firing so grasshopper mice don’t feel pain from the sting, even though other species like house mice do.

4. Which makes them fearless when it comes to attacking.


Grasshopper mice also appear to have an amino acid that binds to the toxin in the scorpion’s venom, stopping it fitting into the mouse’s pain receptors. So it stops them feeling any pain at all for a little while, too.

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Kelly Oakes is science editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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