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Australia’s first ‘real’ millipede discovered: a new species at over 1,300 feet

Researchers called the animal underground omelips persephone In honor of the Greek goddess of the underworld

Millennium worm, so to speak…or maybe not. The first millipede with a length of over 1,000 feet (to be exact, 1306) was discovered in Western Australia: the pet was found at a depth of 60 meters in a mining area in the eastern Goldfields region. Precisely because it spends its life underground, scientists have renamed the animal omelips persephone, in reference to the Greek goddess of the underworld, Persephone. Until now, the animal with the largest number of legs (incorrectly defined “millennium”) wasplenipes, a native of central California with 750 men.

A new species of millipede was discovered by chance by a group of environmental biologists who were conducting environmental impact assessments underground and who described this “encounter” as incredibly fortunate and unexpected. This species is distinguished by a long, thread-like body consisting of up to 330 segments, with short legs and a cone-shaped head – useful for making its way to the ground. Like other animals that live in complete darkness underground, he has pale skin (because he is never exposed to sunlight) and is completely blind.

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According to experts, this is a centipede It probably evolved in length to be able to move underground: The longer the object, the greater the force to move the ground and push forward. Keep in mind that another species very common in Australia, the Portuguese worm, has “only” 25 segments – much shorter than the length of the newly discovered animal. The team has so far found eight examples of omelips persephone At three different depths, between 15 and 60 meters.

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In Australia there are more than 2,000 species of millipedes already known, even if their number could already exceed 4,000 different specimens: much of Australia’s biodiversity, in fact, has yet to be described, and human-caused environmental destruction is putting unknown species into extinction even before scientists have had a chance to discover and describe them. All this biodiversity can be a valuable aid to our survival: many millipedes and Earth dwellers can act as antimicrobials against pathogens that have a lot of antimicrobial resistance.

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Resources: temper nature / Watchman

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