Centipedes Have 100 Legs
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Centipedes have 100 legs.

Don’t believe that!

Talk about false advertising – the word “centipede,” from the Latin roots centi (hundred) and pes/pedere (foot), literally means “100 legs.” Not only is this untrue, it is impossible!

There are thousands of centipede species worldwide, found everywhere from caves to deserts to tropical rainforests. Adult centipedes have anywhere from 30 to over 300 legs. But, there is always an odd number of pairs – therefore, no centipede has exactly 100 legs since 50 is an even number. Centipedes can usually regrow legs that have been lost to predators.

The front pair of “legs” are actually venomous fangs. The common house centipede is mostly harmless as its toxin is weak and its bite is not strong enough to break human skin. Larger tropical centipedes can, however, inflict serious pain.

Bonus Fact: Centipedes eat many undesirable pests, including cockroaches, ants, silverfish and spiders.

Bonus Fact #2: No, millipedes do not have 1,000 legs.

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