News Article

News Article

Meet the World's Largest and Most Venomous Centipede

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The South American rainforest is home to a wide variety of dangerous species, and this many-legged monstrosity is one of the meanest and most dangerous. The Peruvian giant centipede, who goes by the awesome scientific name Scolopendra gigantea, is the largest creature of its kind ever found. While most garden-variety centipedes are only a few inches long, this dude can grow up to two and a half feet.
 
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Scolopendra gigantea is also extremely venomous: his front claws are lightning-fast and powerful, and loaded with a neurotoxin that kills just about any small or medium-sized animal... including bats, which he can pluck straight out of the air by hanging from the roof of bat-populated caves. While the venom is usually non-lethal to adult humans, its bite is one of the most painful ever reported – basically the equivalent of being stung by a two-foot-long wasp.
 
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Even larger centipede species could potentially exist in the rainforest regions, as they share a common ancestor in Arthropleura, a prehistoric mega-centipede (Roger Corman, if you're reading this, give me a call) that according to fossil records grew up to eight feet long. That big granddaddy died out around 300 million years ago, but there may be surviving descendants larger than than those found so far. Animal Planet made this idea as the basis for an episode of their mockumentary monster series Lost Tapes, entitled “The Death Crawler.”
 
Not creeped out enough yet? Then try watching this footage from National Geographic of Scolopendra 
in action... but be warned, it's not gonna be pretty.
 
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