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Hank and PhD Candidate Joanna Kreitinger discuss research being performed on dendritic cells in relation to the immune system. Later, Jessi from Animal Wonders joins to show us the emperor scorpions.

Animal Wonders:

Hosted by: Hank Green
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 (00:00) to (02:00)


Hello and welcome to SciShow Talk Show.  It's a day on SciShow when we talk to interesting people about interesting stuff.  Today the interesting person is Joanna Kreitinger and you study immunology, which is relevant to me, because I have an autoimmune disease.  Cure me now, go.  Are you working on anything that would help me?

J: I am working on something.

H: Oh!  Check it out.

J: Yes, isn't that a coincidence.

H: Well usu--oftentimes, immunology is about just figuring stuff out or making the immune system stronger, but I need my immune system to be weaker and I have to take a medicine to do that for me.  

J: Yes, exactly, and one of the major problems with medication like this is that it can actually suppress your immune response to other things as well, right?  So then you can be more succeptible to (?~0:57)

H: Don't I know it.

J: Other bacterial infections and so the therapeutic that we're developing can actually target only specific cells in your immune response so that you are still able to mount an immune response to things like the common cold and bacterial infections.

H: I feel like we're gonna talk about that for a while, but first, I just wanna--what is immunology and how did you start studying it and you're at the University of Montana, right?

J: Yes.  Yeah.  

H: And you're a PhD student or are you postdoc?

J: I'm a PhD candidate, yeah.

H: What did you study and how did you get to where you're at now?

J: So I studied organismal biology and ecology as an undergraduate student.  Yeah, took immunology since I was interested in it, but I, I don't know, when you think of immunology, what's your first thought?  Do you have  a first thought?

H: Uh, T-cells.  

J: Oh, that's way, way impressive.  Most people think of something like vaccines for example.

H: Oh, okay, sure, yeah.

J: Or like, vitamins boosting your immune response or something.

H: Right.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

J: So I went into taking this immunology class thinking I'm going to be learning about vaccines and then the professor listed off a million terms thath I had never, in my life, heard before, but I became so just captivated and impressed with the elegance of the immune system, and so then that kind of fosters this curiosity.  I became an undergraduate researcher and then moved on to a PhD.  

H: So right now you're studying some system to selectively turn off immune response of some cells, not in some areas of the body, but of some cells, is that it?

J: Yeah, so this isn't tissue-specific, it's cell-specific, so it could be used in a whole variety of diseases that have to do with immune dysfunction.

H: So give me a list of kinds of immune cells.  How many are there?  Talking dozens?

J: Yes.

H: Yeah.

J: There's dozens.  You want me to start listing them?  It's like my comprehensive exams again, I can d--I can try.  Yeah, so you know T-cells?

H: Sure.

J: I work with dendritic cells.

H: Okay.

J: So dendritic cells are really important because they kind of sense the environment around them, pick up different things from their environment and then present them to T-cells and T-cells then will go mount an immune response or on the opposite end, they could turn off the immune response, so what we are doing is giving nanoparticles to dendritic cells.  These nanoparticles will then--

H: So like, some kind of thing that only a dendritic cell would be interested in?

J: Yes.

H: Okay.

J: Exactly, yep, so it will be avoided by any other cell type that might want to eat it.

H: Right.

J: So only the dendritic cells will want to eat this.  They'll get a big meal.  The dendritic cells will then go and say, hey, you guys need to calm down toward this certain protein or this certain cell type.

H: Interesting.  So it tell--so the dendritic cell can like, tell some other cell in your immune system that like, there's a specific protein that isn't a big deal.

J: Yes.

 (04:00) to (06:00)

H: Well, that's pretty--that's pretty big.  That's pretty huge.  Like, that you can actually do that.

J: Yeah.  Yes, because then we can actually give different proteins so for example, rheumatoid arthritis or something like that, we can give proteins that are specific to that disease and turn off the immune response to it.

H: How did that research get started?  I mean, I imagine--I feel like this has been a long process.  Is there a specific thing you would like to do that you are working toward?  

J: Yeah, so this started way before I even joined the lab.  What our lab is also studying is how environmental pollutants suppress our body's ability to fight infections, so how they can alter our immune responses and through this, my PhD advisor is the one who came up with this strategy, so we can actually use the same pathway that an environmental pollutant is using, but we can use it in a good way.

H: And in, like, a very specific way.

J: Yes.

H: So it started with this research on environmental pollutants decreasing our immune system.

J: Yes.

H: And then we were like, ah!  So that's happening.  How is it happening and let's use it.

J: Yes, exactly.

H: That's really cool.  Could you do the same thing for like, a peanut allergy?  'Cause I mean, that's a protein specific immune response.

J: Mhmm, yeah.  There's potential for that.

H: Yeah.

J: Yeah, but did you know something interesting about a peanut allergy?  Did you know that--

H: The peanut is neither a pea nor a nut.

J: Ooh.  That's (?~5:43).  

H: That's the most interesting thing I know about peanut allergies.

J: I learned that cooked peanuts, a protein in the cooked peanut, in denatured by the heating process and that's actually what your body is recognizing.

H: So you can eat raw peanuts?

 (06:00) to (08:00)

J: Yeah, I mean, I don't think that anyone that has a severe peanut allergy should--

H: Don't run out and do that.

J: No, please don't, but yes.  Raw peanuts don't--

H: My guess is that raw peanuts aren't good anyway.

J: I've never eaten one.

H: I've never had one, but I imagine that since that's the case, there's a difference.

J: Yeah, but isn't that interesting that this one protein just being cooked could actually change it so much that your immune response recognizes it.

H: So I see you've brought a thing.

J: I have.  

H: What--?

J: I've brought a flask of cells.

H: Well, it's not just cells.  There's also water.

J: Well there's--there's media in it, yes, things for the cells to survive on.

H: So the cells are in there eating stuff?

J: Mhmm.  Yes.  

H: What kind of cells are in there?

J: These would be, they're called bone marrow derived dendritic cells.  So they come from the bone marrow of mice and we derive the same type of cell.  What were you going to say?

H: I have a friend who actually, who moves peoples' bones, dead people.

J: Oh, okay.  That's a big clarification to make.  Yes.

H: So she takes out like, she basically, people who wanna donate their tissues, they like, come through her, we should have her on the show, by the way.  

J: Yeah.

H: They come through her thing and she takes out all of the parts and they get used for stuff.  Some of them get used, you know, in other people.  Some get used for research, so I thought maybe you were getting some from bones.

J: No.

H: But no, they're not from bones.

J: We do--yes.  This is all--

H: So this is a bunch of mouse dendritic cells in there that are made out of mouse bones.

J: Yes.  Exactly.  

H: And are the mice okay, I imagine, I assume, are they fine?

J: No.  No.  They're not okay.  Yeah, this is what is living of them.  

H: This is what's left.  Okay.  That's what has survived.  Hopefully, if you're into SciShow, you understand that mice don't make it out of the process.  When I was--when I was in, like, the first time I did mouse research, I had this thought that like--we were doing cancer research, and I had this thought that like, the mice that lived through their cancer, we'd be like, oh good job, mouse, but no, you kill them too.

 (08:00) to (10:00)

J: Yeah.

H: And then you have to figure out, like, how they survived and why, so you have to--

J: No, it's just as important to study a healthy immune system as it is--

H: And I was like, well, the ones that died, we can study them, and they were like, no, all of them.  Anyway.  So I've got a flask of mouse cells.  

J: You do.

H: Are they multiplying in here?  Are they?

J: Yes.

H: Yeah.

J: They are multiplying and differentiating.

H: So there's more at every moment.

J: Every single second, there's more of them, so you have to guess how many there are at this current moment.

H: Oh, you're gonna try and stump me?  You know, I've held these in my hand before, these flasks of cells before, I used to study them, but it's been an awful long time.  I don't know.  More on the order of 9 or 10 zeroes?  To like a billion, ten billion?  

J: Ooh, no.  Whoa.

H: Hundred billion?  Is it less than that?

J: Yeah.

H: This--I mean, you never know.

J: I mean, if this was full...

H: Maybe.  

J: Yeah. 

H: How many, how many

J:Like look at, that's 20 mils

H: Yeah, it's 20--yeah, it's 20 mils? That's what that is?

J: Mm-hmm

H: So it's--It's not in the billions?!

J: No..

H: Aww..okay

J: No, you over-guess which makes it less cool. There's 20 million cells in there.

H: Oh, wow

J: But still, in that much volume,

H: So there's a million...

J: --per mill

H: per mill, yeah.

J: Yeah.

H: I don't know

J: You would have failed the bean guessing game.  

H: Yeah.

J: Yeah.

H: We shoulda had everybody guess.  That would have been more fun.

J: Take bets, yeah.  

H: Okay, everybody, rewind, forget everything you just heard.  Does anybody have a guess?  Three?  You thought maybe three?  

J: Ooh, see, that's Price is Right strategy, 'cause you would have won and you would have lost in that moment.

H: And what are you doing with these guys?  So you're studying mouse cells.

J: Yeah.

H: For the most part right now.

J: Yep.  So, it's hard to study the immune system in humans--

H: I mean, if you're studying cells, I got a friend who has a bunch of bones.  

J: Give me her number.  

 (10:00) to (12:00)

J: Yeah, but we do use mice.

H: It's not cheap.  The human bones are more expensive.

J: They--yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  That's true.

H: You get way more cells, 'cause people are way bigger than mice.

J: But we can use a lot more mice to get a lot more cells.  Right?

H: I just (?~10:19) think about it for the mice.  The people are already dead, but their cells, like, yeah.

J: But the big reason I'm using cultures like this is because we can get a lot more data out of much fewer mice.

H: Right.  Right, and you keep them alive and there are more and more of them all the time.

J: Yes.

H: So there's 20 million right now.

J: Yeah, now there's probably 20.001.

H: Yeah.  'Cause I remember watching, you know, we did time lapses of, I think, something differentiating into a dendritic cell.  Is that a thing that happens?

J: A progenitor cell would--

H: Sure.

J: --differentiate.  

H: Some kind of white blood cell thing happening.

J: Yes.  Yes.  In the bone marrow.

H: And it was always fascinating to like, watch it happen and they, like, dendritic cells, as you might imagine, have all these arms and things dendrites.

J: Dendrites, yeah, like the tree-like form that the dendrite stands for.  Yeah, so it is cool to see them go from round cells, which means that they're immature, not likely a dendritic cell, it's like the branched form, that'd be cool to watch under a microscope.

H: Fun to see.

J: Yeah.  

H: And making them do it, and getting to say, you get to be a different kind of cell now.

J: Right.   Rarely do I get to control 20 million of one thing at a time and tell them to be something.

H: Yeah.  It's the control that you're in it for.

J: Yeah.  The power of it all.

H: Are you working toward a paper right now?

J: Yes.  We have a few papers going right now on the nanoparticle work as well as on the environmental pollutant work, so those should be out in the next few months.

H: And when do I get to feed my dendritic cells nanoparticles that they can--that will tell the rest of my immune system to not attack my colon?

J: Ooh.  Hopefully soon.  

 (12:00) to (14:00)

H: While I'm still alive?

J: Yes.  

H: That's good news.  Great.  Well, do you want to meet some kind of animal?

J: I would love to meet an animal.

H: Okay, well, I think it's gonna be pretty cool.

J: I don't know what it is.

H: I do.

J: Okay. 

H: Hello.

JKC: Hi.  

H: Hey.

JKC: I'm excited.

H: Did you bring us any mice?

JKC: No mice.  You're not allowed to have any of my mice.

H: Does the thing that you have have dendritic cells?  I don't know.

JKC: I don't know.  

J: What is it?  

H: Do you know like, how you--do you know how far, like, like, when did our sort of like base-level immune system evolve?  Like, what do we have it in common with?  Do we have it in common with birds, do we have it in common with snakes?

J: So if you think, so uh, b-cells are named after the (?~12:54) which is in the chicken.

H: Okay.

J: So if you think chickens being ancestral...

H: That's definitely--so we share that with them.

J: Even dinosaurs then.

H: Yeah, dinosaurs, too, but--

JKC: These are farther more removed.

H: But these are more distantly, yeah, more distantly related.

JKC: Yeah, yeah.  You're already like, setting it up.  

H: Oh, sorry.

JKC: Alright, we have Athena.

H: It's a coconut.

JKC: It's a coconut.

H: Which is more distantly related.

J: Plants do have immune systems.  It's all chemical-based but.

H: That's pretty cool.

JKC: So we have Athena here and we have Professor Claw, and I brought two of them because they're the same species, they're emperor scorpions, but they are so different in personalities that I really sharing them together because--

H: Different in personalities makes me think that one of them is mean.

JKC: Why would you say that, Hank?  Alright, so I want you to, like--

H: Tell me which one the mean one is?

JKC: Yeah, yeah, what do you think, which one do you think that the mean one is?

H: I don't know.  They look the same.

JKC: Okay, they loo--well, they don't quite look the same, so.

 (14:00) to (16:00)

H: Well like, well, one looks like a log and the other one looks like a coconut.

JKC: Okay, so I'm gonna--

H: My apologies.

JKC: So this is Professor Claw and if I touch him with that you can see he's like, oh what's that?  Oh.  Oh.  If I touch her with this--

H: Oh.  Oh, I don't like this one.  Oh, the tail is moving.

JKC: Yes.  

H: So they are different genders?  Ooh, wow.

J: Wow.

JKC: Isn't she intense?  She's a fighter.

H: She doesn't like stuff.  

JKC: Yeah.  They are actually siblings.  They were born in the same clutch and they are the exact same age.  She could be a little bit grumpier because she has not molted yet, and if you look closely at her, you can see there's a major difference in their bodies.  

J: I get grumpy when I don't molt.

JKC: Do you see that?  Yeah, I know.

J: It's uncomfortable, right?

JKC: Okay, now you can't see that, Hank, sorry.  

H: Well--I mean--

JKC: Okay, what do you see?

J: Oh, yeah she looks kind of like--foggier, like, opaque.

H: Yeah.  Yeah, there's like more space between her plates.

J: Yeah.

JKC: Exactly, yeah.  So they have an ex--they're covered in an exoskeleton and then they have these really hard plates made out of (?~15:10) and then in between there is a softer material and you can see that her hard (?~15:16) is tiny.  It's like wearing a jacket that's too small and she's like busting out the sides.

H: Yeah.  

JKC: And you can even see on top of her (?~
15:26) right there, the cephalothorax, right there, where it looks like her eyes are, you can see it's like foggy and so it's about ready, she's about ready to molt.

H: So it's just like wearing a pair of pants that are too tight, and she's irritated.

JKC: Uncomfortable, but she was like this, you know, a year ago, too.  So, it's personality and then also a little bit, she's like, I'm gonna get--and look how relaxed he is.

H: Well, I do feel like also, like, is it more dangerous to be in, like, it feels like the plates are covering all my sensitive spots, whereas this like, has a bunch of soft spots.

JKC: Sure, sure, and so she's always gonna be on guard.  

H: Yeah.

JKC: Yeah.  They--yeah, could be that, too.  Yeah, it just--personality, too.

 (16:00) to (18:00)

It's totally personality.

H: Was it also--is it also a male/female thing?

JKC: We don't know.  They haven't been big enough to be able to sex them yet and so--

H: Oh, so you don't know the genders.

JKC: I just needed--these are made up names.

H: I just assumed that since one was Athena and the other was Professor Claw.

JKC: Yeah, I know.

J: Yeah, me too.

JKC: We have 4th graders name them and they were the best names.  We had like, Sam and Poopy.

H: So at a certain size, you can--Sam and Poopy.  

JKC: Sam and Poopy were like, other options, so Professor Claw and--

H: Yes.  

JKC: Athena were the best picks.

H: I don't know, Sam.  At least it's gender-neutral.

JKC: Sam the Scorpion.  

H: Yeah.

JKC: Yeah.

H:  Well, so is Professor Claw.

JKC: Professor Claw's pretty awesome.  Yeah, yeah, and their mother was named Professor Claw, too.  

H: So there comes a point where you can sex them, like, g--

JKC: Yes, yeah, and if they get big enough--so right now, I don't really handle the really, really young ones because they are more apt to use their venom, their stinger to defend themselves and when they become bigger, their pinchers get so big that they use that crush and to defend themselves mostly so they're getting to the age where, you know, I'm gonna start handling them, and I'm actually gonna handle Professor Claw on the show today.  I will not do Athena.  

H: I'm not--No.  Good call.  

JKC: I don't think she would appreciate it or I would, but I'm gonna pick Professor Claw up and see if I can tell if it's a male or a female.  Look, you bent forward and she's like raaaghhh.  

J: Yeah, she--her tail is more like--

H: Twitchy.

J: Yeah.  

JKC: On guard.

J: Yes.  Where Professor Claw seems more relaxed.  

JKC: Just relaxed.

J: Chill.

JKC: Yeah.  Yeah.

H: So this is--you're gonna try to figure  out the gender for the first time?

JKC: Yes.

H: The big reveal?

JKC: On Professor Claw, yes.  We'll see, and the way you can tell the difference is they have, um, you can look at their pecten underneath and they're like bristles, it looks like, almost like a mustache underneath them and if they're larger, then it's a male, so I'm gonna try and see.

H: Okay.

JKC: Alright.

 (18:00) to (20:00)

H: (shudders)

JKC: Get the heebie-jeebies out.  Hi, you.

H: Oh, yeah, so scutt--okay, I'm just gonna move a little bit further away from you.  Oh, yeah, yeah.  Oh, so many legs.  You got ev--you got every leg that has ever existed exists on you. 

J: Oh my gosh.

JKC: He has eight legs.

H: Nope.  More than that.  

JKC: And these front two claws are actually modified mouth parts, those are pedipalps and tarantula spiders have them as well, but they have just formed into these amazing claws, and if you look really closely, they're covered in these little bristles, so it's not real hair, it's part of their exoskeleton, but they use those bristles to sense the world around them.  They have really terrible eyesight and they actually have eight eyes and they can't see very well, just light detectors basically, and those, those bristles are there to detect everything around them, so.

J: Wow.  

JKC: So everytime I touch near Professor Claw, he's gonna move away.  Alright.  Now, I'm looking under and trying to see if I can see--oh, very small.  Very small.

H: So this is a lady?

JKC: Professor Claw's a lady.

H: Nice.  

J: That's awesome.

JKC: Yeah, maybe Athena's a male now.  

H: Maybe.  And that's--

JKC: We'll see.  I don't know.

H: That might explain some differentiation, but maybe not.

JKC: After Athena--yeah, after she/he, after they molt, then I will see, I will see.  

J: So how toxic is this?

JKC: Mhmm, so their toxin is pretty basic and very mild for scorpions, as scorpions go.  They are not deadly to humans.  It's like a bee sting.

J: Okay.

JKC: So just a couple proteins.

H: Oh man, I don't know.  It doesn't look like a bee sting.  

JKC: Have you ever seen a video of them--of someone getting stung?

H: By a scorpion?

JKC: Yeah.  

H: No.

 (20:00) to (22:00)

JKC: There's a couple out there, and it looks like it's gonna be like, really intense, and they just kind of stick in and go bonk.

H: Yeah, they just sort of like, (noise)

JKC: Yeah, and it just like, sticks in there a little bit and it's like trying to push its little (?~20:11) in there, but yeah, so if you look closely, what direction is that little stinger pointing?

H: Oh, it points out away from--

J: --the body.

H: So like, yeah.  It curves, sorry.

JKC: Yeah.  It's interesting, 'cause a lot of people think that they're going to like, come over and like stab like this, and they don't.

J: Oh, right.  

JKC: So when they do it, they actually come up and under and shoot like this.  Yeah, and a lot of people think it's attached to their tail, and arthropods do not have tails.  That's actually part of her abdomen.  

J: Wow.  

H: It's pretty--

JKC: Do you wanna hold her?

H: No.  Pretty specialized set of things, yeah?

JKC: Yeah?

H: Joanna?

J: Oh gosh.  

JKC: So you just put your hands out, more, two hands.  

J: It's like a bee sting, it's like a bee sting.  

H: Poke her--oh, I don't like it.  

J: Ooh, maybe he doesn't like my lotion.  No, she, she, Professor Claw.

JKC: See how she's just gently moving away from the touch?  

H: Yeah, I like, feel you on my (?~21:19) spikes.

J: Wow.  Wow.  Oh my gosh.

JKC: And she will fall.  She has little grippers on her feet but not very--she can't grip very well.  You're holding a scorpion!

J: I can't believe it.  I don't wanna move.  Wow.  

JKC: She's doing so good, and she's feeling, she's like, what's that?  

J: Okay, just don't pinch me.  

JKC: If she pinches, I mean, it's a good pinch.  It actually probably hurts worse to be pinched than it is to be stung.  

J: Oh really?  Well, okay, you can have Professor Claw back.

JKC: Good job, you did so good!  Alright ,I'm gonna put her back and I'm gonna bring out some molts that we have.  

H: Not a lobster.

JKC: It does look like a lobster.  Oh, I hid them so you wouldn't see them.

J: Do they taste like lobster?

 (22:00) to (24:00)

JKC: I've never eaten one.

H: You look at me like I'm a scorpion-eater, like that's all I do.

JKC: Alright, so, I said these guys, we had their mother, Professor Claw, and she came to us.  We did know that she was (?~22:15) or pregnant and one day, we walked in a she had 19 little white babies on her back.

H: 19?!

JKC: 19!  

J: Wow.

JKC: 19 of them, and they were all like, clustered on her back and their little white little guys ard they're all just like, hanging on, and over the next, like three weeks, she fed them and she'll take a little cricket and she'll like, tear it into little pieces and then she'll feed her little babies, and then they grew up--

H: Awesome.

JKC: --and they molted and then they all started coming off of her and they all live their lives doing their own little things.  Some of them ate each other, which is pretty common.

J: Siblings.  

JKC: Sibling rivalry, but uh, we ended up keeping two of them and you can see--

H: Where did the rest of them go?

JKC: Quite a few we found homes for.

H: Oh, wow.  

JKC: And then the rest were eaten.  Alright ,so--

H: So is this the only three in the sequence?  'cause there's a big difference between--

JKC: No, no, no, and it was actually really hard because they will sometimes consume their molt and many of these were actually destroyed, 'cause they're super super fragile and out of many of them, only three of them have survived.  Three of these bigger ones, and I have a couple of the tiny ones here, but even that, that looks like more scorpionish than the itty bitty teeny tiny babies.  They just look like little maggots.  

J: Like how old is this compared to this?

JKC: This is about three months old, and that's about like, eight months old.

H: Oh wow.

J: Okay.  

JKC: And then this is about a year old and these guys are just over two years old.   

 (24:00) to (26:00)

J: How old--how long do scorpions live?

JKC: The emperor scorpions, they can live up to eight years.

H: Wow.

JKC: On average.  Yeah.

H: Bugs always live longer than I would think.  Sometimes there's a fly in my house and I'm like, well, it'll die, but then like, three weeks later, I'm like, hey, what's up Jeff?

JKC: But then it's still there.  Are you sure it's the same one?  You become friend with him?

H: Yeah, yeah.  

JKC: Alright, I wanted to show you this because you can see the top, and so we were looking at Athena and we were seeing that she was looking foggy on the top there, and that's actually where it starts to come out and so they will start pulling their body out and then pull their claws out and then climb out of their exoskeleton.

H: So like, pops out.

JKC: Yeah, it's like a little hatch on the top.  

H: It's amazing how, like, it doesn't just flake off in little flakes.  It like, stays in one big piece.

JKC: Yeah.

H: Does not seem necessary.

J: Why?  Yeah.

JKC: It's pretty thick, I mean, it protects their whole body.  

J: Wow.

JKC: You can see the tiny little feet on there.

J: Yeah, and they get--so, do you call them a stinger, or what do you call it?

JKC: It is, it's a stinger, yep.  So that's a (?~25:08)

J: And they get a new stinger every time, too, so it gets larger and larger as they get older and older?

JKC: Yeah, yes, so that bulb right there is the (?~25:13) and then the stinger's attached to the (?~25:14).  You can hold it if you want.  You can see the tiny feet and the, you can see all the hairs on it, all the bristles.

H: Yeah, the stinger has a bunch of hairs, too so it knows where it is.

JKC: Yeah, lots of feeling on it.

H: And on the top, so it's like, am I touching a thing?  Pff.  It's trying to get in under something else.

JKC: Yeah.  It was really fun watching these guys grow up because they would have like, these epic battles over the crickets that I'd put in there and they'd like, one would get a cricket and then the other ones would be like, no, it's mine, no, it's mine, and they'd all be like, stinging it, so it would like, get stung like 100 times and they'd sting each other.

J: That poor cricket.

JKC: They're immune to each other's venom, and there's just that poor cricket, just like immobilized like 100 times, like, I can't move, guys.

H: I'm super dead.  Super dead.  

J: Do they often--do they use their toxin to immobilize prey or predators more?  

 (26:00) to (28:00)

Like, is that a defense or a food--?

JKC: So yeah, so when they're young, they're going to use it in defense a lot more than they are as adults.  As adults, they're going to just really raise up their claws and use those as defense and they um, when they're young like this, they immobilize their prey with their stinger as well, so when they become adults, they don't use their stinger that often.  It's just, it's so mild that they have evolved to use their claws over anything else, but a general rule is the bigger the claws, the less venomous they are.  So emperor scorpions are the largest, not the longest, but the largest scorpion in the world, and so their claws are really hefty and very very mild toxin.  So, like a bee sting, yeah.

J: Interesting.

JKC: But you can imagine how much the ones that are really toxic hurt.  They hurt way worse than a bee sting.

H: Yeah.

J: And they're smaller, so they're harder to see.

JKC: Yes. 

J: Coming.

JKC: Yes.  The little tiny, like, desert ones.  

H: Those are the ones we had in Florida.  

JKC: Yup.

H: In your shoes.  

JKC: I want you to look at their mandibles.  You know what the mandibles are?

H: Their teeth.  The mouth parts.

JKC: Yeah.

H: Yeah. 

JKC: Did you take a look at those before? 

J: No.  They're like, also like claws.

H: Oh yeah, they're like little tiny other claws.

JKC: Yes.

H: It's like the claws except tiny.

JKC: Yes.  Multiple claws.  

H: (?~27:14)

J: Multiple legs, multiple claws.

JKC: It's so weird, and they like, yeah, they'll take their big claws and then like, put it into their little mouth parts and then they'll like--

H: Right.

JKC: --mush it up and bunch it up and pick it apart and then they'll like put it into their actual mouth.  

J: That's weird.

H: Well, it's like having, you know, you got your biting teeth and you got your chewing teeth.

JKC: Yeah, yeah, except not teeth.

H: Except not teeth.  Except it's on the outside of your body.

JKC:  Just little claws.

H: It'd be like if we had things shooting out of our heads with a big set of teeth and then a small set of teeth, and our mouths were just empty gummy--

JKC: You can never be told to chew with your mouth closed though, right?  
H: Yeah, no.  I uh, oh man, I tell you what.  We don't think that we look weird, but we have a bunch of weird bone things sticking out of our faces.

J: That's true.  

JKC: I--I--

H: This isn't normal.

JKC: I always think ear flaps are weird.  

 (28:00) to (29:31)

H: Ear flaps?

JKC: 'Cause like, birds and lizards--

H: Right.

JKC: --and snakes, like, their ears are like against--

H: They don't have (?~28:06)

J: Whales.

JKC: --and then--yeah, can you imagine like a whale or a snake with ear flaps?  

H: I love how you call them ear flaps and not just what I call them, which is ears.

J: Ears.

JKC: 'Cause they're not just ears.  They're weird ears.

H: 'Cause snakes have ears, but they don't have these things.  Well, thanks to Athena and Professor Claw and I'm glad to--now we know a little more about your scorpions and, oh my--it's just--

JKC: She's just--

H: Athena's just attacking the container it is in.

JKC: That's just her, don't judge. 

H: Just who I am.  Just who I am.

J: Wow.  

H: Anyway, Joanna, thank you for doing your research and also for coming and sharing it with us.

J: Yes.  Thanks for having me.

H: Hopefully I'll take one of those pills someday, and of course, thank you for watching.  If you wanna see more of what Jessi's up to, you can go to where you can see her taking care of--how many animals do you have?

JKC: Uh, we have 84 right now.  We actually have a video of these guys, if you check that out.  Scorplings.  Scorplings, they're called scorplings, baby scorpling food fight.

H: Baby scorpling food fight.  Good job, and this is SciShow and thanks for watching and you can more of our stuff at