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Scientists have found the animal with the most legs

There are approximately 13,000 species in the worldcentipedes and, as the name implies, they hold the record for the number of legs available. Most millipedes have between 30 and 382 limbs. But there are species like Illacme plenipes - some females have 750 pairs of legs. Recently, a new species of centipede was found in Australia that broke this record. At a depth of about 60 meters underground, scientists have discovered creatures, the number of legs of which is 1306 pieces. Moreover, the researchers are sure that this is not the limit and in the future they will be able to find individuals with a large number of limbs. Let's find out more details about this record holder - this is a unique animal, knowledge of which will broaden your horizons.

Eumillipes persephone centipede at close range

Interesting fact: in English-speaking countries, centipedes are called"Milipedes". The species Eumillipes persephone was the first to fully justify this name - the rest of the representatives of this superclass of invertebrates have hundreds of legs, but not thousands.

Body length of Eumillipes persephone centipedesis about 9.5 centimeters long and consists of 330 segments. The head is tapered and lacks visual organs - these invertebrates use a pair of antennas to navigate. At the moment, scientists have managed to find and study only a few individuals, but this was enough to find a noticeable difference between males and females. It turned out that only females have a large number of legs. But in males, the number of legs reaches a maximum of 818 pieces, and the body consists of about 208 segments.

Centipede legs Eumillipes persephone

This is a clear sign of the presence of sexual dimorphism -a phenomenon in which there are bright distinctive features between animals of different sexes, such as growths on the forehead, a different color of certain parts of the body, and so on. This phenomenon occurs in many animals, such as birds.

See also: These centipedes can block train traffic. But how do they do it?

Underground centipedes

A new type of centipede was assigned to the detachmentPolyzoniida. Other members of this group have much fewer limbs, but at the same time they have well-developed organs of vision. But the species Eumillipes persephone lives at great depths, which is why it lost its eyes. A large number of legs can also be associated with habitat - they help to wade through the soil and greatly facilitate life in a confined space.

Centipede of the species Octoglena sierra, which belongs to the order Polyzoniida

Despite the fact that the new species of centipedes was notseen on the surface, they too can be endangered. For example, they can be attacked by predatory insects, these burrowing mammals. Scientists believe that invertebrates protect themselves from them with the help of glands, which contain poisonous substances. alkaloids... Unfortunately, which alkaloids are they talking about?speech, information could not be found. Depending on the variety, they can excite the nervous system, paralyze nerve endings, dilate or constrict blood vessels, and so on.

Video with images of the centipede Eumillipes persephone

Potential extinction of centipedes

Unfortunately, in addition to insects and burrowing animals,Centipedes can also be threatened by humans. These creatures were discovered during the search for minerals, so if they really are found, people will invade the habitats of underground centipedes more strongly. In the future, due to the activities of people, they may be threatened with population decline and complete extinction. At the moment, the level of risk is difficult to assess, because scientists do not know how large the population of the species Eumillipes persephone is.

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In 2021, scientists found another type of millipede- they live in Japan and are called Scolopendra alcyona Tsukamoto & Shimano. These are rather dangerous centipedes that can swim and have been hiding from people for a long time. You can read about how they can be dangerous for people and animals, as well as about the secret of their invisibility in this material.