One creature at Camp Salmen I just can’t seem to warm up to is the centipede (Latin for hundred foot ). They live in the grungiest environments; amongst rot and decay, in filthy cracks and underneath things you probably ought not to have turned over.
They’re not enchanting. They don’t turn into moths or butterflies and they have too many legs. You can’t even look them in the eye because they barely have any, all they can see is whether its night or day.
Actually, the more I research them the less there is to like. They are creatures of the night, spending their days lurking in dark, moist places. Some are poisonous, with pincers on their back ends and they can have venomous bites that are painful to humans and deadly to small animals. They are predators, known to attack, and eat, small birds, spiders, mice, bats, lizards, earthworms and most anything with a soft body. Of course, adorable creatures like mongooses, rats, salamanders and snakes eat them. Lovely bunch, the whole lot of them; they all deserve each other.
More centipede facts: it’s thought there are some 8,000 varieties of this arthropod in all manner of environments all over the planet. They are cousins to the Millipedes who have even more legs. They appeared hundreds of millions of years ago and, depending on the variety that arose from this auspicious event, come with 30 to 300 pair of legs, can live up to six years and are up to 12 inches long. One redeeming quality is they take care of their young, by either licking the fungus off of them, or simply eating them (I guess it depends on what you mean by "take care of”). They can also make humans do a spontaneous, spastic little dance if one accidentally lands on them.
Of course, the species found in our nature park are strictly of the small, harmless kind, so much so they are almost cute and cuddly.