National Geographic

Mice Exist That Are So Hardcore That They Hunt Scorpions And Howl At The Moon

Dan 8 Sep 2019

Move over, honey badger.

Mice get no respect.

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To humans, mice are many things: pests, beloved cartoon characters, and the subject of a sadistic kids' game that never quite works as intended. They're hardy little creatures, but they're not exactly intimidating.

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Meet the grasshopper mouse.

Wikimedia Commons

Honestly, that mouse looks like a pretty standard mouse. They're about the same size as a standard mouse, and even their name is kind of unassuming. But as we'll see, they're hardcore.

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They do their work at night.

National Geographic

There are three types of grasshopper mouse, ranging from the southwestern United States to Mexico. Despite their mousey appearance, they're only distantly related to the common house mouse we all know.

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They're carnivorous.

National Geographic

That's right: unlike other mice, which presumably only want to eat cheese all day, the grasshopper mouse is a legit carnivore. Even though they're only an inch or two long, they pack a punch.

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They'll eat whatever creatures they can.

Wikimedia Commons | National Park Service

Because they're so small, their diet consists of similarly small creepy-crawlies. These include things you don't want to see, like worms, spiders, centipedes and even scorpions and snakes.

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They stalk their prey.

National Geographic

The grasshopper mouse has two advantages going into a battle with a scorpion: they're immune to its venom, and they're also adept at slowly, stealthily sneaking up on a victim, much like a cat.

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They have a unique niche on the food chain.

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Because they're immune to venom from scorpions and centipedes, they're one of the few species that hunts them. They keep away from stingers by remaining out of reach as they bite their victim to death.

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They're vicious murderers.

National Geographic

Like any good hunter, the grasshopper mouse knows exactly what it's doing. It will attack creatures with exoskeletons by repeatedly biting through it, which eventually causes the prey's central nervous system to shut down.

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They're territorial.

Wikimedia Commons | American Society of Mammalogists

This isn't surprising for such an aggressive little murder machine. Some live alone, some live with a mate, but they don't tend to cluster together. One mouse might have a range of 28 acres.

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Watching them hunt is a sight to behold.

National Geographic

There's something weird about seeing something recognizable — like a mouse — do something you totally don't expect it to do. Outside of the three types of grasshopper mouse, this is something that mice don't typically do.

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Oh yeah, they howl at the moon.

National Geographic

It's not like their howl is as resonant as a wolf's (or even particularly audible at all), but once again, I'd like to repeat: this is a tiny, murderous mouse that howls at the moon after one of its murders.

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It's truly something else.

National Geographic

It's hard to know how a member of the mouse family got so violent, and so effective. Grasshopper mice also have no qualms about killing other mice, whether it's in captivity or in the wild.

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Yikes. I wouldn't mess with one.

Wikimedia Commons | Fuertes, Louis Agassiz; Grosvenor, Gilbert Hovey; National Geographic Society (U.S.)

Even old-timey images of grasshopper mice show them being murderous psychopaths. Read up on grasshopper mice over on Wikipedia (that's where we sourced this info), or check out this awesome National Geographic video.

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