Monday, November 12, 2012

Out This Way, Please. . .

After 11 years of seeing these crossing my flooring like they owned the place, mostly during autumn, these two- to three-inch-long semi-glossy mahogany brown creatures segmented like worms finally got looked up and identified. This is an American millipede (Narceus americanus). They never have1000 legs, although they might have 750. A giant African millipede can be kept as a pet by other people, whom I hope are strangers living very far away from me. The millipedes' legs operate elegantly, in waves, and they move so swiftly it's been hard to get a clear-ish photo; but these harmless things really belong outside in the soil dining on the decaying plant matter they enjoy and helping gardeners. If after I show them the egress they don't take the hint, I humanely pick them up (they curl into perfect little spirals) and drop them outside; indoors they quickly dehydrate. 

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