Feather-Legged Centipede

prettyawfulthings

alipes

The centipede [is] a member of the mysterious genus Alipes (“feather leg”) found only in parts of eastern Africa.

Its last pair of legs is modified into large, feather-like paddles. This animal is also unusual among centipedes in possessing distinct longitudinal ridges on its tergites (most species have the dorsum smooth and shiny). Otherwise it behaves like a typical scolopendra, always trying to bite you and ripping to shreds any animal that it can sink its fangs (forcipules) into.

Additional comments suggest the “paddles” are capable of vibrating to create noise serving a similar function to a rattlesnake’s rattle.

Via Piotr Naskrecki’s The Smaller Majority.

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