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A millipede with more than 1000 legs

First millipede with more than 1,000 legs discovered
A ventral view of the legs of a male Eumillipes persephone. Credit: The first true millipede—1,306 legs long, Paul E. Marek, Bruno A. Buzatto, William A. Shear, Jackson C. Means, Dennis G. Black, Mark S. Harvey, Juanita Rodriguez, Scientific Reports.

Yes, of course, that’s completely ridiculous. And yet… Well, that’s what they say and, it is NOT April 1. Check your calendar:

Paul Marek and colleagues discovered the millipede 60 meters underground in a drill hole created for mineral exploration in the mining area of the Eastern Goldfields Province of Australia. It has 1,306 legs—more than any other animal—and belongs to a new species that has been named Eumillipes persephone. The millipede’s name derives from the Greek word eu- (true), the Latin words mille (thousand) and pes (foot), and references the Greek goddess of the underworld, Persephone. The authors measured four members of the new species and found that they have long, thread-like bodies consisting of up to 330 segments and are up to 0.95mm wide and 95.7mm long. They are eyeless, have short legs, and cone-shaped heads with antennae and a beak.

Analysis of the relationships between species suggests that E. persephone is distantly related to the previous record holder for the greatest number of legs—the Californian millipede species, Illacme plenipes. The authors suggest that the large number of segments and legs that have evolved in both species may allow them to generate pushing forces that enable them to move through narrow openings in the soil habitats they live in.

Nature Publishing Group, “First millipede with more than 1,000 legs discovered” at Phys.Org (December 16, 2021)

he paper is open access.

Pol @ 5: I noticed the same thing. One wonders how the development of this animal from an egg counts up 653 pairs? Or perhaps the number varies from one animal to the next in the species? Still, it is a remarkable find. In the travelling wave of legs I also wonder how many cycles are included in the 653? E.g. is every 13th pair in synch or does it depend on the speed? Lots of fun stuff! Fasteddious
Or putting it more simply, every wave must be a traveling wave. No standing waves. polistra
Musing about the number.... 1306 is 653 pairs. 653 is a prime number, with no way of dividing it up into sections for neurological 'modularity'. Seems like a poor design choice, BUT: A wave cascading down through the segments will always end up off a zero crossing for all possible periodicities. The mean forward force on all legs will never be zero. polistra
And so, millipede has become literal. kairosfocus
of course, to synchronize the movement of 1300 legs for Darwinists a simple task ... blind unguided process made it ... martin_r
Meanwhile, new telescopes promise more "information" of a totally useless type. More dots to count. Science should listen to Carver. Every word is important: Look ABOUT YOU. Take HOLD of the THINGS that are HERE. Talk to them. Let them talk to you. HERE means HERE. On Earth, under your goddamn FEET. polistra
It is wonderful that there are still wonders to behold on earth. How much more is unknown on the planet we have lived and explored for thousands of years? BobRyan

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