Myriapods: Centipedes, Millipedes & kin | Darwin and Wallace: A Nature & Fossil Store

Myriapods: Centipedes, Millipedes & kin



            Myriapods are small subphylum of arthropods that are primarily distinguished by slender, segmented bodies that are flanked by several legs. The word “myriapod” literally means “10,000 legs,” though the true count, depending on the species, is anywhere between 750-plus to fewer than ten. Myriapods consist of the orders Diplopoda (millipedes), Chilopoda (centipedes), Pauropoda (soil bugs), Symphala (pseudocentipedes), and the long extinct Arthropleuridea, which produced the monstrous 6 ft. long Arthropleura of the Carboniferous period. The known myriapod fossil record dates back to the Silurian period (approximately 428 million years ago) of Scotland, with the species Pneumodesmus newmani (also the oldest terrestrial animal known). The millipedes, pseudocentipedes, and soil bugs are mostly herbivorous, while centipedes are predatory carnivores.

Click on the images below to see the incredible specimens we offer in our myriapod selection: