Wild & Weird: Rootin’ Tootin’ Bandit Mouse Eats Scorpion, Howls at Moon

17 Jan

by the Center for Biological Diversity

There is just something right about a world that contains a scorpion munching mouse that howls at the moon.

There is just something right about a world that contains a scorpion munching mouse that howls at the moon.

Forget Billy the Kid and Pancho Villa. Onychomys torridus — a small, carnivorous mouse with tiny pink paws — may just be the roughest, toughest outlaw the West has ever known.

Also called the grasshopper mouse, this adorable bandito prowls the harsh arid badlands of the Sonoran desert in the United States and Mexico, stalking crickets, rodents, scorpions and tarantulas to sate its monstrous hunger. It battles other rodents, driving them away by force up to and including death; it also steals their burrows. Scientists believe grasshopper mice collect a variety of fleas — perhaps as grisly souvenirs? — from their rodent victims, some of which they cannibalize.

And get this: After biting the head off a scorpion and feasting on its flesh, this mouse has been known to throw its head back in wild delight and howl at the moon. Seriously.

Check out these two amazing videos below wherein you can witness this little critter round up a tarantula and a scorpion and finally hear it howl like a wolf on helium!

Hunting:

Howling:

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