Thursday, June 08, 2006

Leggiest animal rediscovered

Illacme plenipes - still from the supplementary video


Biologists in California have rediscovered the record breaking millipede Illacme plenipes notable for having the largest number of legs in the animal kingdom with some specimens having up to 750 legs! although the recently found ones have only a maximum of 666 legs.

The species was first discovered in 1926 but none have been found since. The current specimens comes from a tiny area only 0.8 km2 in San Benito County. Lets hope their habitat is now preserved. This also illustrates the amazing biodiversity of the California Floristic Province and will hopefully stimulate interest in conservation of this amazing area.

Refs:

Biodiversity hotspots: Rediscovery of the world's leggiest animal
Paul E. Marek and Jason E. Bond
Nature 441, 707 (8 June 2006) | doi:10.1038/441707a
Link

The supplementary information has a a video a PDF with electron micrographs and is available free to everyone: Link

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