New Millipede Species Has 414 Legs, 4 Penises, 0 Eyes

And is apparently very, very good at hiding
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2016 5:54 PM CDT
New Millipede Species Is World's 2nd Leggiest Animal
This newly discovered millipede species has 414 legs, four penises, and zero eyes.   (Paul Marek/Virginia Tech)

Scientists recently revealed a highly improbable discovery: a creature with 414 legs, four penises, and no eyes. Cave biologist Jean Krejca stumbled across the creature, a millipede now known as Illacme tobini, a decade ago inside Lange Cave in California's Sequoia National Park, the Washington Post reports. A study on the new millipede species was finally published last week in ZooKeys. According to Live Science, Illacme tobini is only the second species in the genus Illacme. Illacme plenipes, whose 750 legs are the most in the world, was discovered in California in 1928. Illacme tobini now has the second most legs. "I never would have expected that a second species of the leggiest animal on the planet would be discovered in a cave 150 miles away," a millipede expert who examined the creature says in a press release.

In addition to its 414 legs and four penises (called gonopods), Illacme tobini features 200 glands that secrete what is likely a defensive poison, hairs that produce silk, and "peculiar" mouth parts of undetermined purpose. Despite searching for another Illacme tobini for years, researchers have come up empty handed. That means that, without a female to study, researchers are unfortunately left to guess about exactly why the millipede has four penises. (New dolphin species hid in museum for 55 years.)

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