Centipede VS Millipede: Which One?

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A centipede and a millipede. What is the difference? This is what we are talking about today!

I did A LOT of research for this, so hang tight!

Centipedes: Leggy Wigglers

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A centipede has many body segments, or parts. The centipede has two legs per segment, except for the last two segments, which have no legs at all. If a certain centipede has 17 segments, it has 30 legs.

Although the name centipede suggests 100 legs, the most common centipedes have around 30. A few kinds of centipedes, however, can have up to 350.

A centipede uses poison jaws to kill and eat insects, sometimes even other centipedes. Although their poison cannot kill a person, a centipede can cause a painful welt like a wasp sting.

Its flexible body allows it to wriggle and twist, stretching its many legs for the farthest stride possible in order to catch its prey. A centipede usually hunts at night.

Millipedes: Graceful Gliders

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A millipede and a centipede look similar, but a millipede’s body is rounded instead of flat, and its body segments are closer together. It also has two pairs of legs per segment instead of one. This means a millipede has four legs a segment instead of two. (Some sections may be legless.) Although the name millipede suggests 1,000 legs, some millipedes may have as few as 24.

The millipede takes very short steps with each segment moving together as a unit. As far as it is concerned, there is no need to rush.  It is not a carnivore (meat-eater) like most centipedes, but a herbivore (plant-eater). It does not need to hurry to catch its food, its food is literally waiting for it to come.

A millipede will curl into a ball if it feels threatened. It wraps its hard external skeleton as a shield around its body.

Final Results

Now with this knowledge at hand, we may be able to understand the difference between these two wonderful creatures. Let’s take a look at what we have learned.

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Centipede

  • Has two legs per segment
  • Has poison jaws
  • Very fast
  • Is a carnivore

Millipede

  • Has four legs per segment
  • Can curl into a ball
  • Very slow
  • Is a herbivore

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