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Palaeontology

Gargantuan millipede the length of a car reconstructed for Netflix show

By T.K. Randall
December 3, 2023 · Comment icon 3 comments
A reconstruction of Arthropleura.
Arthropleura was truly enormous. Image Credit: YouTube / Netflix
Millions of years ago, the Earth was home to some truly titanic insects including one particularly enormous millipede.
Today, even the largest millipedes can be picked up and placed on the palm of your hand, but 300 million years ago, it was a very different story indeed.

At the time, higher oxygen levels in the Earth's atmosphere gave rise to some truly gargantuan insects that wouldn't have looked out of place in a King Kong movie.

Among these was Arthropleura - a millipede that was more like a walking tank than an insect.

Measuring 8.5ft in length and 1.6ft in width, this enormous armored critter scuttled across the forest floor during an era known as the Carboniferous Period.
It was the largest known invertebrate ever to walk the face of the Earth.

Being so large and covered in a thick carapace, it would have also had few, if any, natural predators.

Now, thanks to a detailed analysis of a near-complete fossil specimen found in 2019, the team over at the Netflix show Life on Our Planet has been able to reconstruct Arthropleura in more detail than ever before - revealing exactly what it would have been like to witness one of these creatures up close.

You can check out the result in the clip below.



Source: Live Science | Comments (3)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hankenhunter 3 months ago
Bet it would have tasted like chicken.??
Comment icon #2 Posted by openozy 3 months ago
Plenty of drumsticks ?.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Amorlind 3 months ago
Impressive. There was also a dragonfly with a wingspan of 75 cm and a body length of 47 cm...Meganeuropsis


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