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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

How a sand scorpion determines the distance to its prey

BMC Neuroscience200910 (Suppl 1) :P114

  • Published:


  • Experimental Data
  • Animal Model
  • Neuronal Model
  • Poster Presentation
  • Unique Pattern

Poster presentation

The sand scorpion Paruroctonus mesaensis is able to determine the distance to its prey [1]. Experimental data shows that a sand scorpion, which has a diameter of 5 cm, can accurately determine distances up to 15 cm with an error of about 1 cm. For distances exceeding 15 cm, a scorpion must only move approximately 10 centimeters towards the source before receiving another cue. We have identified a mechanism that would allow a scorpion to match a unique pattern to each distance and developed a neuronal model that performs distance determination up to the precision needed. Generalization to other animals is considered.

Authors’ Affiliations

Physics Department, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany


  1. Brownell PH: How the sand scorpion locates its prey. Science. 1977, 197: 497-482. 10.1126/science.197.4302.479.View ArticleGoogle Scholar


© Utz and van Hemmen; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.