Gap Fill - Centipedes - Level 6


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Centipedes are the kind of that are not to be messed with. Their packs a serious punch and can cause rapid and death in insects and animals. They have even been known to kill people with their highly venomous sting. Scientists have now discovered a toxin in centipede venom that can shut down the of animals that are 15 times bigger than them. The scientists isolated a toxin in the Chinese red-headed centipede. This beast can grow to eight inches in length. The toxin in its venom blocks potassium from moving in and out of . This blocking of potassium prevents the brain from sending to the heart to beat, thus causing a rapid .

The venom is rarely for humans, but it can cause agonizing and swelling for up to two weeks. The scientists have called it SSM Spooky Toxin. Researcher Shilong Yang, an in toxins at China's Kunming Institute of Zoology, explained: "The "centipede's venom has evolved to disrupt cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular and systems. This molecular strategy has not been found in venomous animals." Despite their (centi is "hundred" in Latin and pedis is "foot"), centipedes do not have 100 legs. They have a varying of legs, ranging from 30 to 354. Centipedes always have an number of pairs of legs. This means no centipede has 100 legs.

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