Illacme plenipes, the "leggiest" (most-legged? legfullest?) animal in the world, hasn't been seen since 1928, when government scientists first spotted it. But it and its 750 legs were found again near Silicon Valley a few years ago, and it's now being described for the first time in the journal ZooKeys.
A team led by entomologist Paul Marek started collecting the creatures on a an expedition in 2005 and over the next three years found 17 specimens (12,750 legs maximum). At just 3 centimeters long, it's not especially threatening--although it does have claws at the end of those legs. And 750 limbs is on the high-end: females have up to that many, while males have more than 550.
Other cool/creepy things about Illacme plenipes, in no particular order:
- It has giant antennae
- It has a translucent exoskeleton
- It has body hairs that produce silk for clinging to boulders
- Its mouth is specifically built for tearing up plants efficiently
Enjoy your millipedes, tech companies.
It would be so fun, to enlarges this critter a 1000 times and let him loose on the city! GROWL!
Now that would be a great science fiction B movie! ;)
Could you imagine that awkward moment where you go to shake hands with this guy?
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