Adaptations such as a hard exoskeleton, metabolism regulation and the ability to avoid temperature extremes allow scorpions to live in difficult environments. Scorpions are common in many of the world's harshest deserts.
Many desert scorpions rarely, if ever, drink water. Standing pools of water are hard to come by in desert environments, and the few that do exist are gathering places for many species, including potential predators. Therefore, scorpions obtain most of their moisture from their prey. During periods of low prey density, scorpions lower their metabolism, sometimes getting by on two insects a year. Their lower metabolism also enables them to use less oxygen. Most scorpions are nocturnal predators, meaning they escape the heat of the desert sun and avoid dehydration. During the day scorpions burrow into the sand or hide underneath rocks or other debris, staying cool while avoiding predators and gaining a vantage point from which to ambush prey. A scorpion's hard exoskeleton is excellent protection from a harsh desert environment, protecting them from the elements and from some predators. The exoskeleton also aids in water retention and prevents dehydration. Scorpions are very opportunistic predators that can survive on a wide variety of prey, including other scorpions and, sometimes, scorpions of their own species.