Every time when I say I want to show you some creepy crawlies people are expecting spiders and snakes but no one will expect these.
I think these are creepier than spiders.
Shongololo, The Giant African Millipede
these are the African giant millipedes.
when I was in south Africa local people called them an interesting name shongololo they told me it means a train it’s a luxury way to travel millipedes are generally smaller way smaller than this this is the world’s largest species of millipede
How many legs do they have?
they’re named milli-pede but actually, they don’t have as many legs as the name suggests
so different species have different numbers of legs the African giant millipedes usually have 256 legs
so they have 64 segments on each segment there are two pairs of legs
this is the head you can see two antennae
it feels satisfying when they’re crawling on your hand so many legs tickling you at the same time amazing creatures so they live in the forests rainforests and dry forests
I have seen them in a lot of different places in Africa
they can be living on the ground many people think they are burrowers but actually, i have seen them climbing trees they can climb very well
if you’re new to these animals you may be confused
How to tell the difference between a centipede and a millipede?
they can look very similar to most people especially when you see one in the wild when they’re moving quickly when they move quickly that’s usually a centipede because millipedes are slow they are not fast at all usually millipedes are smaller but because these are the largest millipedes so they get this big they’re usually a lot smaller they’re usually just like this
and if you can take a close look it’s easier to identify you can look at the legs so these are millipedes they have their legs underneath the body centipedes have their legs on the side
and you don’t want to handle a centipede bare hand because centipedes are venomous millipedes are harmless
They’re actually very good for the ecosystem
they are herbivores they eat plants
the feces is very good for the plants that are a fertilizer and also they clean up the floor of the rainforest by eating all the fallen rotten fruits
just like a janitor so the ecosystem needs these animals to clean up the environment wow amazing look how they move they don’t move all the legs at the same time
and the legs movement looks like waves
I’m not sure if I can show the camera it’s too small if you look closely you can see tiny little bugs on their body so that is actually very common those are mites but don’t be scared those mites are not the mites that live in a mammal’s body those are different kinds of mites they live on the body of a millipede and they’re actually good for each other so the mites will eat the leftover food from the millipede’s body so they can get food and they clean up the millipede’s body
so they are in a symbiotic relationship they’re helping each other live peacefully together
It is a perfect example of misunderstood animals
most people when they look at them they think oh gross scary creepy but actually, they are peaceful harmless clean animals that actually help the ecosystem
the world is full of misunderstanding
I hope you have learned something help spread the word and let more people understand the good side of these animals we do need them in our world I’ll let them go
it’s also very satisfying looking at them just walking.
Teachers React To My Creepy Crawlers
Helping people overcome the fear of the animals they had never touched is a part of what I do when I’m off the field.
Millipedes are harmless, but often get killed by people. Why? That’s because they are mistaken for centipedes which are venomous.
“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Education is not just a talk or slide show presentation. Hands-on experience is what really inspires people to have new thoughts.