Friday, August 12, 2011

Tasmanian Millipedes Tow The Line

Jack Dikian
August 2011

Tasmanian Millipedes Tow The Line

Millipede in the Latin loosely means thousands of feet although some species can have over 700 legs. More common species have between 36 and 400 legs.

There are approximately 160 species of Millipedes native to Tasmania and the behavior of two species in particular is challenging scientists world over.

Two neighboring species maintain a strict no go zone. They refuse to stray into each other’s territory regardless of terrain or habitat. The boundary line runs through a diverse range of ecologies, geologies, and even crosses rivers, and seems like it has nothing to do with environments.

The boundary is 200Km long and in some places, less than 100 Meters wide and yet all the time these Millipedes never stray. Currently there isn’t an explanation for this behaviour and many consider understanding this behaviour will be important to biology.

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