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.