PETER MATULAVICH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MATULAVICH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Scientist pinches millipede (Narceus americanus) antennae to demonstrate defensive coiling behavior found in these arthropods. Lacking speed, powerful jaws or a sting, millipedes must rely on other forms of defense, including curling into a coil, thereby protecting its legs and softer underbelly. Some species are capable of emitting poisonous secretions or gas to deter predators. This species is found in forests throughout the eastern U.S. and southeastern Canada, and reaches lengths of 10 cm and more. These nocturnal arthropods feed mostly on decomposing vegetation. Contrary to their name, no millipede species has 1,000 legs; most have fewer than a hundred.
Model release not required. Property release not required.