Millipedes make great decomposers and are an important part of our ecosystem. They also make great petrs for some.
1. MILLIPEDES DO NOT HAVE 1,000 LEGS:
The term millipede comes from two Latin words – meaning thousand feet. Some people refer to these critters as thousand leggers. Most millipedes actually have less than 100 legs. The record holder for most legs has a mere 750, far short of the thousand leg mark.
2. MILLIPEDES HAVE 2 PAIRS OF LEGS PER BODY SEGMENT :
This trait, and not the total number of legs, actually separates the millipedes from the centipedes. Millipedes have 2 pairs of legs per body segment. By contrast, centipedes have just one pair of legs per segment.
3. WHEN THEY HATCH, MILLIPEDES ONLY HAVE 3 PAIRS OF LEGS. :
Millipedes undergo something called anamorphic development. Each time they a millipede molts, it adds more body segments and legs.
4. WHEN THREATENED, A MILLIPEDE USUALLY COILS ITS BODY INTO A SPIRAL:
A millipede’s back is covered by hardened plates, but its underside is soft and vulnerable. Millipedes aren’t fast creatures, so they aren’t going to outrun their predators. Instead, when a millipede feels it is in danger, it will coil its body into a tight spiral, protecting its belly.
5. SOME MILLIPEDES PRACTICE CHEMICAL WARFARE:
Millipedes are fairly docile critters. But millipedes carry secret chemical weapons. Some millipedes, for example, have stink glands from which they emit a foul-smelling (and tasting) compound to repel predators. The chemicals produced by certain millipedes can burn or blister the skin if you handle them.
6. MALE MILLIPEDES COURT FEMALES WITH SONGS AND BACK RUBS.:
Unfortunately for the male, a female millipede will often take his attempts to mate with her as a threat. She’ll curl up tightly, preventing him from delivering any sperm. So what’s a guy to do? He needs a plan to loosen her up, literally. The male millipede might walk on her back, convincing her to relax with the gentle massage provided by hundreds of his feet. In some species, the male can stridulate, producing a sound that calms his mate. Other male millipedes use sex pheromones to arouse a partner’s interest in him.
7. MALE MILLIPEDES HAVE SPECIAL “SEX” LEGS CALLED GONOPODS:
If a female is receptive to his advances, the male uses specially modified legs to transfer his or sperm packet, to her.
8. MILLIPEDES LAY THEIR EGGS IN NESTS:
Mama millipede burrows into the soil and digs a nest where she’ll lay her eggs. In many cases, she uses her own feces -her castings are just recycled plant matter after all – to construct a protective capsule for her offspring. She’ll deposit 100 eggs or more in the nest, and the hatchlings will emerge in roughly a month.
9. MILLIPEDES ARE CAN LIVE UP TO 7 YEARS:
In general, arthropods have short life spans, but millipedes aren’t your average arthropods.
10. MILLIPEDES WERE THE FIRST ANIMALS TO LIVE ON LAND:
Fossil evidence suggests that millipedes were the earliest animals to breathe air and make the move from water to land.