Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
Most widely used name for this species
The name of the animal in science
The place where something is found
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|Number Of Species:|
The total number of recorded species
The average time the animal lives for
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Red, Black, Yellow, Orange, Brown|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
|Decaying plant material|
The specific area where the animal lives
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Decaying plant material, Plants, Insects|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Birds, Badgers, Rodents|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Segmented body and many legs|
The millipede is a medium to large sized invertebrate that is found under rocks and in decaying logs all around the world. The millipede has a long and narrow body which is made up of segments.
The millipede is from the same family as the centipede, but the millipede generally has more legs for its body length than the centipede. The average millipede has between 80 and 400 legs, not a thousand as the name suggests.
The millipede is found all over the world but is more common in the southern hemisphere where the millipede has been known to get to nearly 40cm long. Some species of millipede have a poisonous bite which they use to kill their prey before eating it.
Millipedes are most commonly found in the cooler, damper and darker places within their environment. Millipedes inhabit areas under rocks, in the leaf litter, in rotting logs and occasionally in burrows which are all known as micro-habitats.
The exact number of legs and segments that make up the body of the millipede, depend on the millipede species. However, all millipedes are made up in a similar way with the first sections of the millipede's body having one pair of legs and the later sections of two pairs of legs. The legs of millipede all work together and move in a wave-like motion.
The millipede is an omnivorous animal but primarily feeds on dead plant material and decaying matter on the forest floor. Millipedes are also known to eat some species of plants (that are alive) and the larger species of millipede also hunt insects.
The millipede has a number of different predators in its natural environment including birds, badgers, foxes and small rodents such as shrews and rats. When the millipede feels that it is in danger it curls up into a spiral and some species of millipede even release a disgusting smelling liquid that deters many of the animals that prey on the millipede.
The female millipede can lay up to 1,000 sticky eggs at once although the number of millipede eggs laid is usually closer to 500. When the baby millipedes hatch they only have 3 pairs of legs but they shed their skin as they grow. Each time the baby millipedes shed their skin they develop more body segments and legs.
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First Published: 14th November 2008, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Nov 2008]