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  Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle

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~Abyss~
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PostSubject: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   2/27/2013, 12:41 pm

I don't think there is one right answer but I am fascinated with evolutionary biology and was wondering what you guys theorize (layman's theory, not scientific theory) why natural selection favored the subucular tubercle in some species of scorpion. Does it serve a purpose? I posted this in both AB and SF to get everyones opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   2/27/2013, 2:22 pm

I'm going out on a limb and assuming you're referring to what we normally call a subacular tooth.

I think most evolutionary mutations that have withstood the test of time have done so because they give the bearer an advantage one way or another with the usual emphasise on either winning a mate, having an edge when it comes to catching prey or offering the bearer a defensive or offensive advantage. If this should also be true of the subacular tooth then in my mind the answer must lay with either of those advantages.
If i first consider winning a mate then that would surely by extension only apply to either the male or female....and that's not the case. Both males and females bear a subacular tooth.
So, binning that thought, the next logical answer should be because it gives them some kind of edge with regards to catching prey.
It's diminutive size in comparison to the aculeus and positioning just under it does conjure up thoughts of a "can opener".
Before i say anymore i'd like to make it clear that i've heard this theory before and it's not anything i've just sat here and thought about.
The hows and whys are of course open to discussion and i don't for one minute think the subacular tooth could actually be used as a can opener or tough exoskeleton opener but it could possibly allow for some kind of leverage to be exerted.
I could imagine some kind of beetle like insect that had developed a defensive ability that allowed it to press it's body close to a surface so that it's attacker couldn't prise it loose..The scorpion could gets it's aculeus under the prey item but because of the prey items shape and ability to lock itself onto a surface it was unable to move it...The subacular tooth could have acted as a notch that allowed the aculeus to remain in place allowing the scorpion to use it's weight and strength superiority to dislodge the prey. Different shaped subacular tooth's could be an adaptation to the locality specific shape differences of various prey.

Another possibility could be that the subacular tooth in some way protected the aculeus from damage with the fact that some scorpions have one and some don't coinciding with the location specific environmental conditions or the location specific predominant prey items.

My last idea...and this one is all mine Wink could be that maybe, way back in time, scorpions is some locations predominantly preyed on each other or there was a specific specie of predator scorpion that predominantly preyed on other scorpions...It's venom could have been lethal to all other scorpions so when prey scorpions met up with this scorpion the fight centered around trying to avoid being stung by it...In this scenario the development of the subacular tooth could have been a defensive adaptation that allowed the prey scorpion to "catch" the aculeus in much the same way that a male T uses it's spurs to keep the females fangs at bay. The fact that some scorpions have a subacular tooth and some don't could correspond to the predator scorpion not being widespread but only found in specific locations....scorpions that bear a subacular tooth today were prey for the predator scorpion in these locations.

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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   2/27/2013, 2:44 pm

Den, I love your dominant scorpion theory, and yes I was referring to the subacular tooth but I should say I got scolded by Kari Mcwest for using the term ”tooth” since it’s technically a tubercle (notch) not a tooth. My theory is more of a self defense one. It seems the tooth is seen in species that have stronger venom, at least more painful venom to a mammal neural system. My guess is the tooth can hold the aculeus in a way that it can more efficiently “pump” venom into a predatory mammal like mice, delivering more venom and possible killing or driving the predator away.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   2/28/2013, 11:44 pm

I'd actually like to take a look at the internal anatomy of the telson of the species which possess the tubercle.

Perhaps the tubercle is simply the by product of a difference in the internal anatomy?

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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 4:33 am

Interesting question. Ive noticed that it seems to be a trait in bark scorpions, maybe it is a tool that is used for moving things around. bark stone etc.

The tibial spur idea is great but wouldnt that be assosiated with all species?



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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 1:21 pm

I think it's just something that popped up and never went away.
Not everything needs a reason.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 1:23 pm

Sure but whats the point of being a hobbyist if you don't ask questions? Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 1:31 pm

Venom wrote:
I think it's just something that popped up and never went away.
Not everything needs a reason.
It's not necesarrily a reason but evoulionary-wise it stayed and from what we know about natural selection it's possible it could be a useful trait. It's been around for a long time.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 1:43 pm

Well the scorpion's anatomy in general has been around for a long time.
So whatever doesn't harm it, stays. Even if it's no use.

But if you really want to go crazy and think of things it could be used for....



Better grip or a better feeling/sensing at the tail when stinging

(didn't some scorpion have a light receptor on the metasoma? Or am I just imagining crazy things?)

Ummm Digging or knocking things off the bark they live on.

Helps aid in inflicting more damage so they won't waste venom. Anyone ever do a test to see if scorpions with the subaceulues give more dry stings then scorpions without?
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 1:55 pm

Well it's most likely not without a "reason" since this is a good example of convergant evoultion it appeared in mulitple scorpion families
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 2:01 pm

Venom wrote:


Helps aid in inflicting more damage so they won't waste venom. Anyone ever do a test to see if scorpions with the subaceulues give more dry stings then scorpions without?

Um that would be avery strenuous test lol. Im sure it can be done though.

I do think that this was an anatomical trait found in arboreal scorpions. perhaps it is used as an anchor.

Its a good thing questions like this are asked...It helps us keep our thinking muscles fresh.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 2:05 pm

~Abyss~ wrote:
Well it's most likely not without a "reason" since this is a good example of convergant evoultion it appeared in mulitple scorpion families
You never know, maybe that one gene that expresses it has been dormant since the first scorpions developed the OG acuelues and some populations expressed it.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 2:12 pm

It remids me of certain species of dog, where theyhave a thumb thats just a little piece of tangling meat that vets will usually cut off. Absolutly useless but evolution has not had the chance to remove it from the genetic code.

I know dogs are a pale comparison but I felt that the analogy would make sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 2:37 pm

Venom wrote:
~Abyss~ wrote:
Well it's most likely not without a "reason" since this is a good example of convergant evoultion it appeared in mulitple scorpion families
You never know, maybe that one gene that expresses it has been dormant since the first scorpions developed the OG acuelues and some populations expressed it.
I guess my post didnt post up....or maybe I posted it somewhere else since I'm just copying and pasting here at work LOL. But It's unlikely this happened as convergant evolution are usually only expressed for the same purpose and similar niches like wings on birds and bats. Different paths to the same trait!. Now stop going to school your actually making me think about this to much!
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 2:43 pm

haha thats awesome. Its fun though!
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PostSubject: Re: Evolutionary reason for subucular tubercle   3/5/2013, 2:47 pm

Yeah or similar snakes throughout different environments across continents from different genus who look pretty much the same due to the fact that they evolved the same way.

Maybe it's a mating thing. Since it IS more pronounced in males isn't it?

Maybe it lets the female know something.

Maybe it stops the scorpion from stinging in TOO deep and getting stuck or damaging the top of its acuelus

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