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

Centipedes are among the largest terrestrial invertebrate predators in the terrestrial ecosystems that can be found in a wide array of terrestrial habitats from tropical rainforests, savannah, prairie, dry regions in deserts to Arctic region. They inhibit under stones and deadwood, inside logs, in leaf litter and soil.

Centipedes are any of wormlike arthropods of the class Chilopoda of long flattened many-segmented predaceous arthropods. They are elongated metameric animals that have one segment bearing one pair of legs of which the foremost pair is modified into venomous biting organs with which it preys on insects, such as cockroaches. Presently, approximately 3000 out of 8,000 of its species have been described and identified by the scientists. They can range to a length of a few millimeters (as in the species of Lithobiomorphs) and to as long as 30cm (as in the species of Geophilomorphs). The Giant Desert Centipede as shown in the above picture which is found in the southern United State and in northern Mexico can grow up to 8″, though it appears quite attractive and pretty in its external appearance.

The Amazonian giant centipede, also called Scolopendra gigantean scientifically, is the largest known species of centipede in the world, which can grow to a length of 30cm or more. This centipede feeds on rodents, spiders and bats. The prehistoric Euphoberia (an extinct genus of myriapod, and its length is 4 times the length of modern-day largest species, Scolopendra gigantean) is the largest known species of a centipede, which can grow up to one meter in length.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 inhibit in the region of Okinawa, Japan can have a body length up to 20cm.

This red dragon centipede is native to China and can be found inhibiting 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.

This is another centipede coated with its vividly seen red cloth, inhibiting 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.

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.

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 fresh for the centipede’s meal.

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