< The world's leggiest animal, Illacme plenipes


Marek, P.E., W.A. Shear, J.E. Bond. 2012. A redescription of the leggiest animal, the millipede Illacme plenipes with notes on its natural history and biogeography (Diplopoda, Siphonophorida, Siphonorhinidae), ZooKeys, 241, 77–112.    (article)


Marek, P.E., J.E. Bond. 2006. Biodiversity hotspots: Rediscovery of the world's leggiest animal. Nature. 441, 707.    (article)


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Audio:

Voice of America, Our World (MP3, 0:22:08, 20.2 MB)

National Public Radio, Morning Edition (WMA, 0:02:28, 2.63 MB)


Video:

Rediscovery of leggiest animal on the planet

Illacme plenipes = literally “in highest fulfillment of feet”


^ Images of Illacme plenipes

Top left, Illacme plenipes, the leggiest animal on the planet—individuals have been documented to possess as many as 750. Live image of the dorsal side of a female with 662 legs.


Top right, Electron micrograph of the ventral side of the animal showing a small glimpse of the paired appendages found on each diplo-segment.


Bottom left, Electron micrograph showing the male genitalic morphology, structures shaded yellow and blue; these are actually highly modified legs, the 9th and 10th pair.


Bottom right, Electron micrograph showing the intricate surface structure found on each segment; centermost is the ozopore, the opening to the repugnatorial gland, which affords the millipede a chemical defense.