Pike County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs
North American Millipede
The North American Millipede is a very shy creature. Living under logs or rotting vegetation, it is rarely observed unless its home is disturbed.
Millipedes are believed to be one of the first terrestrial animals walking the earth for over 428 million years or about 200 million years before the dinosaurs! Changing very little since their arrival, they consist of segmented bodies with two legs on each side of a segment. They eat decaying organic matter such as decaying logs, leaves, and improperly composted food waste. When threatened, the North American Millipede will roll into a ball. It will secrete a chemical that irritates carnivorous insects. They do not bite or otherwise hurt people.
Millipedes are often called Thousand Leggers. In fact, their name millipede comes from the Latin milli - thousand, and ped - feet. They should not be confused with centipedes (hundred leggers). Centipedes have flatter segments, one leg on each side of the segment, are carnivorous, and can give you a nasty bite!
Look for the North American Millipede the next time you turn over a rotten log!
North American Millipede assuming its defensive posture.
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