Natures wonders: amphibious centipede (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Monday, June 27, 2016, 17:35 (1181 days ago) @ David Turell

In southeast Asia, and venomous:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/06/amphibious-centipede-discovered-laos-scolope...


"When Beccaloni lifted the rock it was hiding under, the centipede immediately escaped into the stream, rather than into the forest. It ran along the stream bed underwater and concealed itself under a rock.

"With some difficulty, Beccaloni captured the centipede and later put it in a large container of water. He says it immediately dove to the bottom and swam powerfully like an eel, with horizontal undulations of its body. When he took the centipede out of the container, the water rolled off its body, leaving it totally dry.

***

"Beccaloni shared the observations of his specimen's amphibious behavior with Edgecombe, and they confirmed that his honeymoon centipede was an example of S. cataracta.

"The entire species is known from just four specimens: the two collected in Laos, Beccaloni's swimming specimen from Thailand, and a fourth specimen that was collected in Vietnam in 1928 and was in the collection at the Natural History Museum in London, misidentified as a more common species.

"Beccaloni believes S. cataracta exploits a different ecological niche from other centipedes.

“'Other Scolopendra hunt on land,” he says. “I would bet this species goes into the water at night to hunt aquatic or amphibious invertebrates.”

"Like all centipedes, this new amphibious species is venomous. Although you would not want to be bitten by one, it probably wouldn't kill you—it would just cause agonizing pain.

***

"But to scientists like Beccaloni and Edgecombe, the new discovery is further proof of all the wonders of nature that are still unknown to us.

“'People tend to study streams in the tropics during the day, but there is probably a whole other range of interesting amphibious things that come out at night,” says Beccaloni. “It would be good to study these streams and their fauna then to see what is actually going on under the cover of darkness.'”

Comment: This shows that there are many undiscovered species, but also more significantly, whatever mechanism that exists to create new species is highly inventive and adds complexity. This guy can live under water, which raises the issue of how amphibians develop. It must be in one step or they would drown, or if coming out of water, they must immediately be able to breathe on land. Darwin doesn't help, does he?


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