Feeds

World's LEGGIEST BLONDE is super-rare millipede living in SF

Off shoe shopping, see you in another 77 years

High performance access to file storage

Vid The world's leggiest animal has been rediscovered in California, the extremely rare millipede Illacme plenipes.

It's often assumed that a centipede has 100 legs and a millipede has 1,000. But in fact centipedes can have hundreds of tiny pins and there is no known millipede with as many as 1,000 legs.

One species of millipede has up to 750 limbs, making it the creature with the most legs on Earth, and that's the sand-coloured I. plenipides, literally meaning "in highest fulfilment of feet". That millipede hasn't been seen since 1928 and was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 2005 by Paul Marek of the University of Arizona.

The females are the ones with the most legs, while the males have a maximum of 562. The appendages aren't just for kicks though: they're probably a result of adaptation for a life spend burrowing underground and hanging off the sandstone boulders Marek first found them on.

"This relict species is the only representative of its family in the Western Hemisphere. Its closest presumed relative, Nematozonium filum, lives in South Africa and this early relationship was established more than 200 million years ago when the continents coalesced in the landmass Pangaea," he said.

As well as the astounding number of extremities, I. plenipes also has other surprising anatomical features, such as body hairs that produce silk; a jagged scaly translucent exoskeleton; and comparatively gigantic antennae that make up for the creature's blindness.

The rare millipede is limited to just a small area on the outskirts of Silicon Valley. The description of the animal was published today in ZooKeys. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.