The Nightmarish Eight Foot Long Giant Centipede

Giardino_dei_semplici,_mostra_dinosauri,_arthropleura_armata

Arthropleura is a genus of extinct, 0.3–2.6 meter (1–8.5 feet) long arthropods related to modern day centipedes and millipedes, native to the upper Carboniferous (340 to 280 million years ago) of what is now northeastern North America and Scotland. The larger species are the largest known land invertebrates of all time.

Fossilized footprints from Arthropleura have been found in many places. These appear as long, parallel rows of small prints, which show that it moved quickly across the forest floor, swerving to avoid obstacles, such as trees and rocks.

Arthropleura was able to grow larger than modern arthropods, partly because of the greater partial pressure of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere at that time, and because of the lack of large terrestrial vertebrate predators.

Screen Shot 2014-02-08 at 12.07.40 AM

Yes, the largest species of this order was an eight and a half foot long centipede. Whimper.

Bottom scale photo via World’s 10 Biggest Animals of All Time on YouTube.
Via Wikipedia.

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About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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