Things You Didn't Know About CENTIPEDES

By : Talltanic - 2 months ago
From speed demon centipedes … to ancient terrestrial creatures ... Here are 16 things you didn’t know about centipedes

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#6 Quick as a Flash
The House Centipede is mentioned a few times on this list. But this particular subject deserves its own segment. You already know they have some lightning moves … But did you know that this beast has been recognized as one the fastest animals on land? Researchers clocked them charging ahead at about 420 mm per second. That would be the equivalent of a human being running about 42 miles per hour! In addition to their 15 pairs of legs, they also have a unique tracheal system that efficiently pumps oxygen into their bodies quickly enough to power their leg muscles. For the record, a fellow arthropod came out number #1 among fastest land animals ranked. Relative to their body size, the Mite demonstrates a speed that is equivalent to a human being running about 1,300 miles per hour!




#5 They used to be Enormous
Arthropleura (arthra-ploo-ra) was a millipede arthropod … an ancestor of both millipedes and centipedes, which could grow some 8 feet long … and possibly longer. Quite a contrast in size to modern day centipedes … although we do have one specimen coming up that has some impressive dimensions. But these critters could also measure several feet in width … and thanks to those dimensions, most experts think Arthropleura had very few predators. Indeed, this animal is recognized as the largest species of invertebrate yet discovered - and by a fair margin at that. Still, even though it appeared predatory, this prehistoric arthropod was really a herbivore. And not unlike its descendants, this creature could move swiftly as it swerved to avoid obstacles in its path. It lived more than 300 million years ago in present day North America and Scotland.








#4 Further Back in the Day
So we just learned that Centipedes have been around for a long time. But their lineage can actually be traced back beyond the time of Arthropleura. Fossil records indicate that the creepy-crawlies can potentially date back more than 400 million years ago, and are linked to ‘Pneumodesmus’ (NU-mod-es-muss). That’s been recognized as the very first myriapod … which refers to a group of arthropods that includes centipedes, millipedes and other multi-legged beasts. That particular creature is thought to be the oldest animal known to have lived on land.





#3 Centipedes vs Millipedes
These two animals are similar in appearance and can often be mistaken for one another. So how do you tell them apart? There are a couple of ways if you are so inclined. For one, millipedes have twice the number of legs per segment as centipedes, with two pairs of shorter legs there. Centipedes have a single pair of legs on each body segment. Centipedes have flatter bodies compared to millipedes, which have rounded cross sections. Millipedes have shorter antenna compared to centipedes. Centipedes are fast moving, and carnivorous, with claws that serve as fangs to deliver venom ... while their counterparts are slower, vegetarian, and are typically not venomous. Also, millipedes can roll up into a protective coil … something centipedes cannot do.





#2 Scary Centipedes
One of the more unnerving sights you might see in your home is this creature that can move disturbingly fast, whether scuttling across the floors or up the walls. Now it’s showing up again on our list. The House Centipede is infamous for its scary appearance and behavior. Measuring up to around 4 inches long, they have 15 pairs of legs … which allows them to move at surprising speeds, as previously noted. And they prefer the great indoors, usually living on the ground level. Aside from giving you a fright, they pose a minimal threat to humans. In fact, if you can tolerate these centipedes as housemates, they can serve as a type of pest control, since they are insectivores that prey on flies, bed bugs and silverfish. Remember how we mentioned that some people keep them as pets? This is one reason why.

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Things You Didn't Know About CENTIPEDES