Millipede – Education In Nature

Should you be scared of the dreaded Millipede? My wife wasn’t when she handed me this one.


Their name sounds like they should have a million legs. Actually, their name means “Thousand legs,” but they don’t have a million or a thousand. They do have many legs though, anywhere between 47 and 197 pairs!


They curl into a tight circle when they get scared. Even though they are creepy, they’re pretty harmless. If you handle one, be sure to wash your hands afterwards. Some secrete a substance that can irritate your eyes or sensitive skin.

If you click on the last picture, you can count the segments. It looks like this one has around 50 segments. Each segment has two pairs of legs so this millipede has around 100 pairs of legs or 200 individual legs! If millipedes wore shoes they would spend a fortune!

It’s amazing their tiny brains can get all of those legs to work together. Sometimes I have trouble walking with just two feet. I can’t imagine trying to do it with 200.

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