Giant Multi-Legged Animals: Deadly Killers in Nature

These giant multi-legged animals are deadly killers in the terrestrial ecosystems.

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This prehistoric monster is NOT an insect or a worm. It is said to be a prehistoric centipede. Yuck, this centipede looks hideous and huge in size!! Oh no, I could not believe on what I see!

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As mentioned earlier, centipedes as like the millipedes are highly segmented wormlike arthropods. Their bodies can be segmented into 15 to 173 pieces (according to its species) each with a couple of legs, one on each side. They are identified among the fastest and most agile of non-flying arthropod predators in the terrestrial ecosystems.

Image Source Photo credit: Meczko

There are jaw-like mandibles, a pair of antennae and other mouthparts found in the head of a centipede. A pair of venomous claws which are called maxillipedes can be seen at the most anterior trunk segment of the centipedes. The centipede uses this weapon (maxillipedes) to defence, capture and paralyze its prey it managed to catch.

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Centipedes stay in moist microhabitats which prevent water loss rapidly from their bodies particularly when dealing with the dry conditions. These moist microhabitats are important survival surroundings for centipede to sustain their survivals on Earth as due to their rapid rates of water loss. Under the condition of dehydration, the centipede will die.

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In English, this fellow is called centipede, but in French its name is millepattes which means thousand-leg. In general, most centipedes have about 30 to 42 legs but they are some rare species which have more than 200 legs. Photos show a foot-long centipede discovered in Guizhou, China.

Photo credit: Sofu

This red-headed centipede can be found in China and Japan. Its body length varies according to the terrestrial ecosystems in which it resides. Its species that inhabit in the region of Okinawa, Japan can have a body length up to 20cm.

Photo credit: Sofu

This red dragon centipede is native to China and can be found inhabiting in the southern part of China, Asia, and tropical regions throughout the world. It has a red gown coated its body, making its appearance rather attractive. Though it is pretty in its appearance, this guy has an unattractive bite! It can grow up to 20cm.

Photo credit: Jangtu

This is another centipede coated with its vividly seen red cloth, inhabiting primarily in the regions of Western Pacific. It has a relatively huge body as compared to other normal centipedes. The one of its species found in Solomon Island can grow up to 20cm.

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Not all species of centipedes are poisonous, only certain types of them are found highly hazardous to humans due to their venomous and painful bites. Generally, the smaller centipedes do not puncture human skin. It is described that the bite of a smaller centipede in temperate regions may be similar to a bee sting. The house centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata), a fast-moving carnivore that feeds on insects such as house flies and cockroaches and other small house pests is not harmful to humans, but its sting can be painful. Be caution to the bite of all giant or large centipedes as they are potentially harmful particularly to children. It has been recorded that the bite of a larger or giant tropical species is excruciatingly painful, and in most cases, the bite of such centipedes will leave two black puncture wounds about one centimeter apart.

Photos credit: Max, Wee, Tham

Giant centipedes are relatively venomous animals that attack furiously and swiftly while fighting its prey with their venomous bites. To most of its prey, it is almost a challenge to escape away from the captivity of this giant MONSTER. This lizard is unlucky that it has encountered the stronger wrestler in the nature. It tried its almighty strength to give its predator a kick, but it was finally succumbed to collapse to the ground. Photos show a sequence (from first row left to right, and to second row left to right) on how the champion wrestler (centipede) has defeated the loser (lizard) in this fight. The lizard has unwillingly sacrificed its flesh for the centipede’s meal.

Here’s a video showing you how this giant centipede captures and bite on the mouse cruelly.

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28 Responses to “Giant Multi-Legged Animals: Deadly Killers in Nature”
  1. BC Doan Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Great piece Chan! I wouldn’t want to come across a centipede!

  2. Judy Sheldon Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 7:39 am

    They give me the willies. Thanks for an interesting read.

    Take care and God bless.

  3. valli Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 8:23 am

    The pictures are scary. Interesting piece.

  4. RJ Evans Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Like Judy, these creepy crawlies give me the willies too!!!

    Great read though!

  5. ursula banteux Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 11:35 am

    ugh. no thanks on the centipedes. chan, good jobs plugging your other articles at the end there. haha.

  6. goodselfme Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I am glad they are on the screen. They are well pictured.

  7. papaleng Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    awesome shots and and an eye-opener of sorts since I thought centipedes are harmless.

  8. Gon Pincha Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I think there is something walking on my leg..

  9. Liane Schmidt Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    CHAN – aiyah!! Those are some animals that you and I will always be safe from!



    -Liane Schmidt.

    p.s. I just noticed Gon Pincha’s comment – hahah*

  10. Lost in Arizona Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Aaaghhh! My skin is crawling.. I nearly ran away from the computer screen just looking at this stuff. The centipede eating the lizard.. that’s not If I ever see one, I’m stomping on it. Sorry guys, but so eww! Thanks for the nightmares

  11. nobert soloria bermosa Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    very interesting as usual,thanks Chan

  12. Darlene McFarlane Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Oh, Chan! I am sure this is a wonderful article like the rest before it but, I couldn’t bring myself to look at the pictures. If there is one thing I can’t abide it is multi-legged creatures!

  13. LP Jardine Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Interesting article, creepy critters

  14. Lauren Axelrod Says...

    On October 18, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    These guys are bizarre. Great read Chan

  15. swapna Says...

    On October 19, 2008 at 7:46 am

    fascinating article…..

  16. estrella 2008 Says...

    On October 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    muy interesante tu articulo. felicidades

  17. Melody Arcamo Lagrimas Says...

    On October 20, 2008 at 2:00 am

    Very fascinating creatures…interesting article and nice photos too. God bless.

  18. Kim Buck Says...

    On October 21, 2008 at 9:32 am

    I am not fond of people or animals with more than four legs.

    Thanks for sharing.

  19. divine :) Says...

    On October 22, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    wow that was one big one…..i jest got bit from one and it didnt feal good it was not cool

  20. Brian James Says...

    On November 14, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I saw some of those centipedes when I was in the South Pacific, and I have to say that I hate centipedes. They are so creepy.

  21. Sotiris Says...

    On November 17, 2008 at 7:54 am

    They look like aliens! Scary :/

  22. Lucia Says...

    On February 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm


  23. Mark Says...

    On June 1, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Thanks for posting this info, Chan. Not much info out there on centipedes in China. I’m originally from Arizona and very familiar with the “Giant Desert Centipedes”. At the moment I’m living in Jiangsu, China and finding a centipede out here was the last thing I was expecting. Judging from your pictures here, it was a Red Headed Centipede crawling across my pant leg. Small, (8cm?) compared to the ones in Arizona. But more than enough to freak me out. Take care!

  24. john Says...

    On July 14, 2009 at 10:06 am

    That centide is Mukade or the Vietmanese centipede. It also lives in Japan & they is around – so thy do pose a danger. Hawaii has them too. THey r poisonous so if bit, go to hospital straightaway.

  25. lAUREN Says...

    On December 11, 2009 at 8:43 am

    I hate creepy crawlies and these have just made it worst and i am 13 YIKES !!! HATE THEM EEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!

  26. catlord Says...

    On July 6, 2010 at 8:12 am

    My wife spent a few years as a teenager in Algeria before coming to Canada with her family and has a healthy fear of centipedes, some of which are deadly.

    I noted that you used the word “inhibiting” and “inhibit” a few times. I think you meant to use “inhabiting” and “inhabit.”

    Excellent (and scary!) article.

  27. CHAN LEE PENG Says...

    On July 6, 2010 at 10:26 am

    thestickman, thanks for pointing out. They were typing errors and I’d fixed them.

  28. ecotourism internships Says...

    On November 23, 2011 at 8:37 am

    they seem to be very dangerous.

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