Howling Meat-Eating Mouse Hunts Scorpions, Snakes and Centipedes

This grasshopper mouse is stalking a pair of beetles. Image: U.S. Department of Energy, Public Domain.

On a cold, quiet night, a fierce, hairy beast roams the Sonora Desert. Its teeth are sharp and deadly, and its eyes are as dark as the night itself. Rearing up on its hind legs, the creature howls at the full moon, shattering the silence as it defends its territory. But what is this fearsome desert predator? Is it a wolf? A coyote? A fox?

No. It’s a tiny, carnivorous rodent, known improbably as the grasshopper mouse.

Sounding more like a fictional creature from a fantasy book or mockumentary, the grasshopper mouse is very real, and unlike most mice, it has a taste for meat. They eat anything, including insects, centipedes, scorpions, snakes, and even other mice.

And, when they hunt, they stalk their prey like a cat, sneaking up silently before they pounce.

Now, normally, the roles would be reversed. After all, snakes eat mice, and so do scorpions, centipedes, and other deadly desert critters. But most of them stay far away from the grasshopper mouse, which is immune to venom.

Watch these grasshopper mice take out some deadly Arizona bark scorpions, which are the most venomous scorpions in the United States.

If that’s not enough to convince you these little guys are badass, watch this mother grasshopper mouse take down a huge, venomous centipede in the video below.