5-speed listening (Giant Millipedes - Level 2)

Fossil found of giant car-sized insect






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If you are afraid of insects, reading this might be difficult. A fossil found in England shows that the biggest bug that ever lived was the size of a car. The fossil is of a giant millipede. It could have had hundreds of legs. The name "millipede" means "one thousand legs" in Latin, but few species have 1,000 feet. One species has 1,300 legs. Fossil hunters said the fossil showed that the millipede was around 2.7 metres long and weighed over 50kg. Seeing this would have been scary. It would need a lot of insect spray to keep it away.

The scientists found the fossil by chance. Scientists at Cambridge University's department of earth sciences found a rock on the beach. It had fallen from a cliff. They said it was a lucky discovery and "an incredibly exciting find". They explained that the fossil is over 326 million years old. This is 100 million years before the dinosaurs. The millipede had a high-nutrient diet because it was so huge. The scientists are not sure what it ate, but there were plenty of nutritious nuts and seeds available at that time." They may also have eaten frogs and lizards, but not humans.

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