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Saturday, 22 February 2014


The amount of legs a centipede has varies on the species. Their number of legs varies from under 20 to over 300.

The length of the centipede's legs increase as you go down the centipede's body. This prevents the centipede from stepping on his or her legs. It also helps them to move quickly in a special rhythm.

Centipedes are not classified as insects because they have more than six legs. They are part of the arthropod family (that includes insects) and are in the myriapod class.

Worldwide, there are estimated to be 8,000 species of centipede, of which 3,000 have been described.

The most common place for centipedes to live are forests around the world. However,they also reside in caves, deserts, gardens and grasslands

The house centipede is a carnivore that feeds on cockroaches, house flies and other domestic pests. It is therefore beneficial. But because it has a scary appearance it is often exterminated.

Centipedes hunt for their food eating almost anything that is soft-bodied and in a reasonable size range. They search for spiders, worms, flies and other insects to turn into a meal. Some of the larger centipedes will even eat slugs, snails, rats and small lizards.

Centipedes come in various sizes. Some scientists are only an inch or two in length. However, some centipedes are much longer. The Amazonian giant centipede, is the largest existing species of centipede in the world, reaching over 30 cm (12 in) in length.

Despite 'centipede' meaning '100 feet,' a centipede has never been discovered with 100 legs. The closest, a species found in 1999, has 96 legs.

Centipedes move at different speeds, but some can go as fast as 20 inches per second. That is faster than many arthropods.

The house centipede can withstand falling at great speed: they reach up to 15 body lengths per second when dropped, surviving the fall.

Centipedes are relatively long-lived when compared to their insect cousins. For example,  the European Lithobius forficatus can live for 5 or 6 years.

Centipedes don't mate. Instead they leave packets of their sperm, called spermatophore, around for females to find.

Centipedes may take up to three years to be able to breed.

They are eaten by many animals. Centipedes try to defend and protect themselves by producing a sticky and smelly substance. They can also pinch their prey using their hind legs.

Some species of centipede can be hazardous to humans because of their bite. Although a bite to an adult human is usually very painful and may cause severe swelling, chills, fever, and weakness, it is unlikely to be fatal.

The Scolopendra cataracta (waterfall centipede) is a species of centipede that is currently only known to live in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. It is the first known amphibious centipede, growing to up to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in length and with a painful venomous bite. It is commonly referred to as the "aquatic centipede". has been observed both running along stream beds and swimming with eel-like horizontal undulations of its body. Out of water, water rolls off the centipede's body leaving it dry as the surface is very hydrophobic.

Image of Scolopendra cataracta. By Original image: Warut Siriwut, Gregory D. Edgecombe. Chirasak Sutcharit, Piyoros Tongkerd, Somsak Panha; crop by EdChem - Wikipedia Commons

The Geophilus hadesi, a tiny species of centipede, has been found living in a trio of central Croatian caves. One specimen appeared some 3,600 feet beneath the Earth’s surface, the deepest a live centipede has ever been found. In homage to Hades, the scientists dubbed their creature Geophilus hadesi.

Sources Wikipedia, Yahoo! Voices 

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