There are many fascinating things about millipedes, but one of the most interesting to children and adults alike is this question: How many legs does a millipede have? In general, the answer to this question depends on how many pairs of legs the millipede has.
Most millipedes have between 100 and 750 pairs of legs. There are some species of millipedes that have fewer than 100 pairs of legs, while some species exceed 750 pairs. The largest known species of millipede has an estimated 1500 legs.
How Many Legs Does A Millipede Have?
If you’re like most people, you probably think that a millipede has a lot of legs. After all, the word millipede means a thousand feet, so it stands to reason that these creatures would have at least a thousand legs, right?
Wrong. Most millipedes have fewer than 100 legs. The vast majority of millipede species have between 40 and 60 legs. So how did this misconception come about?
It all comes down to translation. When you hear the word millipede, what do you think? Chances are, most people will conjure up images of large, spindly bugs with lots and lots of legs. The name itself gives us that impression, doesn’t it? But that’s not really how millipedes look at all.
Some species of millipedes do have over a thousand legs. But these are not true millipedes at all. Instead, they’re known as xiphydriidans or thousand-legged worms.
Technically speaking, these are not even classified as arthropods, which is a diverse group that includes insects and spiders. Rather, xiphydriidans fall under an entirely different phylum: Nematoda.
How Many Legs Does A Millipede Have Per Segment?
The answer to how many legs a millipede has per segment depends on which type of millipede you’re talking about.
The most common types of millipedes only have one pair of legs per segment, though some larger types can have two pairs. The number of segments varies depending on what species we’re talking about, but most millipedes are made up of 30-40 segments in total.
There are over 12,000 species of millipedes, and they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
Some have as few as four legs, while others have up to 750! The world’s largest millipede is the African giant millipede, which can grow up to 11 inches long. But the longest millipede ever found was a 26-foot-long specimen in Madagascar.
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How Many Legs Does A Giant Centipede Have?
Giant centipedes can have up to 191 legs, but the number of legs is not always consistent. They typically have between 30 and 35 pairs of legs, but some specimens have been found with as few as 23 pairs or as many as 39 pairs. The extra legs are generally considered superfluous and are thought to be vestigial remains from an ancestor with more leg pairs.
One of their more disturbing attributes is their taste for blood. The giant centipedes have been known to attack humans, biting with a venomous bite that is said to be painful but not usually fatal to healthy adults.
People who suffer from respiratory conditions or heart problems are at risk of death from a centipede sting. Centipedes are typically not aggressive and will usually only attack when provoked.
They often hide under rocks and logs during daylight hours, emerging at night in search of food or shelter.
The Millipede Species with the Most Legs
Some millipede species have more legs than even any other kind of creature on planet earth; they are about 1,300 of them all living deep within the soil, some of these species include the house centipede, American giant millipede, yellow-spotted millipede, Illacme Plenipes. E.t.c.
The record holder was a species of millipede called illacme plenipes, a deep soil dweller known to have as many as 750 legs, but the recent specie of millipede found is known as Persephone having legs of about 1.306 which tops the current record, it is a pale eyeless creature having a long, threadlike body that is nearly a 100 times longer than it is wide, it has a cone-shaped head with numerous antennae used in navigating dark places and also have a beak used for feeding on fungi, it is difficult to count the legs because it coils around like a spring.
Why Do Millipedes Have So Many Legs?
The millipedes have so many legs because they need these legs to help force their head into cracks of soils when they go in search of delicious decaying matter that can only be found deep down below the ground surface.
Are Millipedes Insects?
Most people think of insects as being small, six-legged creatures. But what about millipedes? Millipedes are often mistaken for insects, but they are arthropods. Arthropods are a group of animals that includes insects, spiders, crabs, and lobsters. So, technically speaking, millipedes are not insects.
Is it safe to Pick up Millipedes?
Have you ever seen a millipede and wondered if it was safe to pick it up? These small, segmented creatures are quite harmless. Millipedes do not bite or sting, and they are not poisonous. Millipedes are beneficial to gardens and yards because they help break down organic matter.
Are millipedes poisonous? Millipedes are not poisonous or harmful in any way. They do not bite, sting, or transmit diseases. This means that you can pick up a millipede and let it crawl across your hand or arm without fear of getting hurt.
However, you should never eat a millipede because it may have harmful chemicals on its exoskeleton that could make you sick if ingested.
Do Millipedes Have Eyes?
Yes, millipedes have eyes, their eyes are arranged in a group in the front/side of their head. Their eyes consist of several simple flat lenses called ocelli. Millipedes sometimes have nonexistent eyesight or poor eyesight.
When moving along, they make use of their antenna by tapping it on the ground to get a sense of their direction.