Gecko Bodyslams Scorpion WWE-Style in Shocking Video

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Gerald Corsi

Who do you think is winning when it comes to geckos and scorpions? San Diego State University researchers in California recently shared an amazing video of western banded geckos squaring up with scorpions— and the result is more than surprising.

Typically, these geckos are thought of as reasonably mild-mannered animals. However, as viewers will see in the video shared by the university, they can hold their own when backed into a corner. 

The viral clip is part of a comprehensive study that aims to understand the unique feed behaviors of the western banded gecko, specifically when feasting on scorpions. 

“It’s a really kind of physically stunning behavior, something totally unexpected from a lizard like that,” said San Diego State University biologist Rulon Clark.

These geckos eat small arthropods like crickets and beetles. Now, it seems like scorpions are also a part of their diet. In addition, when they munch on these dangerous creatures, the geckos can be pretty aggressive.

Instead of pouncing on the scorpions as they would other animals, the geckos opt to writhe around violently after locking onto the scorpion. 

“They seem to be kind of body slamming the scorpions into the ground. If you ever see seals, they’ll pick up fish and they’ll slap them against the water. I think geckos are doing essentially the same thing, just blunt force trauma.” said student Malachi Whitford, who studied the geckos’ unusual feeding patterns as a graduate student in the program in ecology.

New research on geckos fighting style

It’s a wild sight to witness and a good reminder to pick on someone your own size.  According to researchers, it’s oddly similar to how some predators snatch their prey and then aggressively shake them. 

The researchers now theorize that the western banded geckos fight the scorpions this way as a way to make them unable to fight back. They shared their research on the fighting habits of the western banded geckos in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

SDSU biologists Rulon Clark and Malachi Whitford, graduate students from the school and the University of California joint Davis Ph.D. program, led the study.

Clark first studied the western banded gecko’s abnormal behavior when studying flat-tailed horned lizards in the 1990s, per reports from Newsweek

After several years, he returned to begin another study. However, during that time, he and Whitford got video footage of the western banded geckos fighting scorpions and other creatures. 

While geckos appear as harmless creatures, this video shows them in a new light. However, suffice it to say, we’re still not too intimidated by the animals like we would be if we ran into a bear or a mountain lion. 

It is also important to note that some companies, like Geico, have even used them as images for the company. But, after seeing how these western banded geckos go head-to-head with scorpions, there seems to be more to these little creatures than we initially expected. 

If anything, this is an important reminder of how wild nature and the creatures we share this planet with can indeed be.