Finally a real “Millennium”! | for information

So far, the name “Millennium worm” has been a bit oversold: There were no more than 750 feet of myriapod, a record held by plenipes, discovered in California. But Paul Marek, of Virginia Tech, in the US, and his colleagues have just shed light on a distant cousin of Miriabod in California, which has at least 1,306 legs!

baptized omelips persephoneThis “real” centipede’s name refers to the Greek goddess of the underworld. In fact, this animal was found at a depth of 60 meters in a well in Australia. Like many species that live in the dark, it lacks eyes and pigmentation. It features a cone-shaped head and massive antennas. Includes 330 slidesAnd It is barely 10 cm long and 1 mm wide.

head and antennasomelips persephone Viewed under a scanning electron microscope.

© PE Marek et al. , the first true millipede – 1,306 legs long, Scientific Reports, 2021

Myriapod Millipede Eulypse Persephone

Enlargement of a few pairs of feetomelips persephone and the slides it carries.

© PE Marek et al. , the first true millipede – 1,306 legs long, Scientific Reports, 2021

Similar forms toomelips persephone And plenipes It would be the result of evolutionary convergence. The biomechanics of these small muscles has been little studied, but their elongated bodies with many pairs of legs allow them to move more easily in the minute cavities of the lower floor. Thanks to their flexible segments, they will be able to stretch their bodies in order to pass through narrow cracks.

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