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"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Nature Study: North American Millipede

We found today a North American Millipede. Katie picked it up with a feather. When threatened, they sometimes curl up, as he is doing now. The kids know not to touch them or hold them in their hands because they can release a liquid that can make your skin burn and turn red. It really can irritate your eyes. No serious damage, but unpleasant. 
They mostly eat dead leaves and other decaying plant matter, so they are good insects to have around as long as you look, but not touch.
Notice all of it's red legs. They move like a wave.
The name "millipede" is a compound word formed from the Latin roots "mille", which means thousand and "pes"  which means foot. Despite their name, however, millipedes do not have 1,000 legs. We weren't able to count the legs on this guy, but  most have  between 36 and 400 legs.

5 comments:

  1. Millipede are on my list of "ewwww" items.

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  2. Wow! Look at that millipede! I don't believe I have ever seen one that large before.

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  3. You don' wanna count 400 legs?? ;)

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  4. I could just see you trying to count the legs. :)

    What a great find for your children to study and observe up close! I love it when nature study comes to us naturally.

    Thanks for sharing your link.

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  5. Wow - he is large - we only see little ones...

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