Prehistoric millipede was the size of a car
December 21, 2021 | 29 comments
As if today's millipedes weren't bad enough... Image Credit: Neil Davies
Palaeontologists have announced the discovery of a truly gigantic millipede on a beach in England.
The gargantuan arthropod was discovered quite by accident when a large chunk of sandstone crumbled from a cliffside in Northumbria and ended up on a beach.
"It was a complete fluke of a discovery," said study lead author Neil Davies from the University of Cambridge. "The way the boulder had fallen, it had cracked open and perfectly exposed the fossil, which one of our former PhD students happened to spot when walking by."
Believed to date back 326 million years, the millipede - which measured over 8ft in length - would have easily been among the largest creatures to walk the Earth at that time.
"These would have been the biggest animals on land in the Carboniferous," Davies told Gizmodo
Incredibly, the fossil is believed to be that of the creature's discarded carapace, meaning that the millipede itself might have grown to be much bigger.
The largest living specimen at the time must have been truly monstrous.
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