What is unique about myriapods?

As their name implies, myriapods (from the Greek myriads, a myriad, plus photos, foot) are noted for having many legs, though the number varies widely from species to species. Some species have fewer than a dozen legs, while others have many hundreds of legs.

Why are myriapods important?

Myriapods provide an important source of food for many invertebrates and vertebrates. In addition, millipedes help in the recycling of nutrients, and centipedes aid people by consuming various household pests, such as bedbugs, termites, and cockroaches.

How do myriapods protect themselves from predators?

When attacked, millipedes curl their bodies into tight spirals to protect their soft undersides. This coil shape also protects their heads and legs. They sometimes burrow to bury themselves when disturbed, using their front legs to push away the soil.

What do myriapods have in common with insects?

Like insects, myriapods have one pair of antennae, but they have many more legs than insects do. In Michigan, all myriapods have more than 20 legs, and all the other arthropods have fewer legs than that (most have only 6 or 8 legs).

Do myriapods have brains?

Myriapoda includes the familiar centipedes and millipedes, as well as the small and less familiar symphylans and pauropods. Median ocelli have been lost but lateral eyes are present in some taxa. The nervous system follows the typical arthropod plan, with a brain and a paired ventral nerve cords with segmental ganglia.

Are myriapods poisonous?

Although not generally considered dangerous to humans, many myriapods produce noxious secretions which can cause temporary blistering and discolouration of the skin.

Do myriapods have eyes?

Myriapods are any invertebrate belonging to the subphylum Myriapoda. This subphylum contains 4 classes, with the two most well-known being Chilopoda (centipedes) and Diplopoda (millipedes). Myriapods have one pair of antennae and mandibles like insects do; however, unlike insects, Myriapods do not have compound eyes.

Do myriapods have a heart?

Myriapods breathe through spiracles that connect to a tracheal system similar to that of insects. There is a long tubular heart that extends through much of the body, but usually few, if any, blood vessels.