A giant millipede

Millipedes

Millipedes are a common class of arthropod with over 10,000 named species. Estimates suggest this is only a fraction of the total number of millipede species. Two pairs of legs per segment distinguish millipedes from the closely related centipedes which only have one. Early forms of millipede were some of the first animals to colonise land and therefore some of the oldest known fossils of land creatures. The largest known millipede is the giant African millipede which measures in excess of 28cm (12in).

Scientific name: Diplopoda

Rank: Class

Common names:

  • Millipedes,
  • Thousand-leggers

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Fossil types

Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.

Amber Amber
Amber owes its existence to the defence mechanisms of certain kinds of tree. When the bark is punctured or infected, a sticky resin oozes out to seal the damage and sterilise the area.

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Arthropods
  4. Millipedes

BBC News about Millipedes

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