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Scorpions prey by night. Their prey consists almost entirely of insects and spiders. They seize avictim with their large claws and tear it to pieces or crush it, extracting its body juices. If prey offers any resistance, the scorpion may then, and only then, use its sting by bringing its abdomen forward over the body and thrusting the paison bearing tip into its prey. The prey is then slowly eaten, an hour or more being spent, sometimes in consuming a single beetle.
Scorpions can survive long periods without eating and it is said that they never drink, getting all the moisture they need from their food or from dew.
Scorpions are covered by an epidermis made up of a single layer of cells that secrete a cuticle consisting of chitin (a carbohydrate) and proteins hardened by phenolic tanning (sclerotin). As in other arthropods, the cuticle has several layers: the endocuticle, exocuticle, and the waxy epicuticle (from the inside to the outside). The endo- and exocuticles are pierced by transverse canals. In scorpions, the exocuticle contains a hyaline layer with no equivalent in any other arthropod. The cuticle is particularly thick on the dorsal side. In some places as in tubercules, it is strengthened by metals. The articular membranes between the segments of the body and the parts of the appendages are flexible and have no exocuticle; high concentrations of resilin, an elastic protein, have been detected (this protein increases the elasticity of the pedipalp chelae joints, allowing the passive opening of the chelae, the mobile part of the chelae having no adductor muscle).