- It does exist: a centipede has 1,000 stems.
- The animal was discovered in Australia by an American research team.
- So far, the record holder is 750 feet.
1306 – That’s the number of legs the team led by American entomologist Paul Marek spotted. The researchers presented a report on the exciting discovery in the specialized journal Scientific Reports. You can read the scientific article on scientific reports.
The new species of millipede has already got a name: Eumillipes persephone. Eumillipes means something like “real centipede” and Persephone is the Greek goddess of the underworld. This is convenient: the researchers found the small animal at a depth of sixty meters in a well created for mineral exploration.
Huge antennas, beak – but no eyes
The width of the animal, the trunk of a subspecies of arthropods, is a little less than a millimeter and does not reach ten centimeters in length. The body of this centipede is divided into up to 330 segments on which the pairs of legs sit. The reptile has a conical head with huge antennae and a beak for eating. Lacks eyes and pigmentation.
These properties predetermine it for life in the underworld: the sensors serve as antennae for the millipede to determine a possible penetration into the ground.
The compressible parts allow it to compress through small gaps. The many small legs also give the millipede extra thrust to move, the researchers believe.
Habitat protection is very important
Researchers suggest that advanced open-pit mining at the site, Goldfields-Esperance, could threaten millipedes. Therefore, habitat protection is of crucial importance.
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