Millibeat has so far been discovered with more legs – though not a million yet

Millibeat with 1,306 legs.Field Scientific Reports

It is a newly discovered millibed species found by researchers at the American University of Virginia in the desert of Western Australia. It was not easy, the millibeats were hidden at a depth of 60 meters. One of the animals found turned out to be less than 1,306 feet, which surpassed the previous record of one millibyte.

The 1,306-foot model is not alone. Seven specimens of new species were still in the ground, the researchers write Natural Science Reports. Although only one was over a thousand feet, all of these milliseconds were over 750. At the same time, when they hatch from eggs, they have only two parts, each with two pairs of legs. In their lifetime, more and more sections, so the legs are added. It is not yet clear how long this will last, but it could be their entire lives.

The legs of one of the other millibeats of the newly discovered genus Umilips persephone.  Image Scientific Reports

The legs of one of the other millibeats of the newly discovered genus Umilips persephone.Field Scientific Reports

All of those legs ensure that the animal can move powerfully on the ground, the researchers write. The elongated body allows for a longer digestive tract through which millibed can get nutrients from a deficient diet. According to Matthias Bittenbinder, a biologist at Naturalis who was not involved in the research, ‘an animal that lives very deep underground has all the useful properties.

So the researchers speak A real millibeat, A ‘true centipede’ because previous models did not exceed a thousand feet. But what is it: a millibyte or a centipede? An etymological trick question, because millibeat is the Latin name Millibeta (Thousand feet), centipede ie Centipede (One hundred feet).

Vision under the head and reproductive organs of a male specimen.  Image Scientific Reports

Vision under the head and reproductive organs of a male specimen.Field Scientific Reports

Why are the Dutch different from this? Etymologist Nicole van der Sijs: Until the 19th century, all sorts of objects, such as hundred feet and centipede, were used interchangeably. No one is going to count those legs. ‘ She concludes: ‘Something must have gone wrong in translating science into the North in recent centuries.’

Pittenbinder claims that a centipede is a completely different animal than a millipede. ‘Both are poisonous, but Millbeat, a vegetarian, uses its venom only for protection, while centipede kills and eats prey with its venomous jaws. Body composition is different: millibeats have four legs per section, centipedes have two. Some centipedes still have more legs than a few millipede.

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