Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Amazonian Giant Centipede

Scolopendra gigantea
It may not be obvious from the picture, but today's animal is an absolutely massive Centipede. It can grow to be a foot long!

Amazonian Giant Centipedes can be found in locations outside the Amazon- they live throughout northern South America, as well as on several different Caribbean Islands. These Centipedes have around 23 different red body segments, each with a pair of yellow-ish legs. They use all those legs to move about quickly, but also to hold on to their prey.

And what, you may ask, does a Centipede this large eat? Well, they do munch on small insects, but they can also go after birds, mice, lizards, frogs, and even bats! Amazonian Giant Centipedes are venomous, and they use that toxin to subdue prey. The venom is even strong enough to do serious damage to humans, so watch out!

Despite their toxicity, Amazonian Giant Centipedes are a welcome addition to farms and gardens, as they keep the damaging insect populations at bay with their voracious appetites.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : South America and Caribbean Islands
Size : Length up to 1ft (30cm)
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Subphylum : Myriapoda -- Class : Chilopoda
Order : Scolopendromorpha -- Family : Scolopendridae -- Genus : Scolopendra -- Species : S. gigantea

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