The mystery of the number of millipedes’ legs is revealed…

My first event at Castle Kennedy and Gardens was great fun! Lots of millipedes, woodlice, slugs, beetles, spiders and even flies hiding in the grass and under the logs we looked at. Using bug boxes we got a better view and then put them back where we had found them. Millipedes curl up when they feel threatened and play dead, so we took some time to stay still and see if they uncurled and started walking off when they thought that we weren’t looking!

The pede bit of millipede means ‘foot’ and they have a lot of them, 4 (2 pairs) for every segment but they still don’t have a million, they don’t even have the thousand that the milli means in Latin. How many legs they have depends on how old they are and what species they are. However they all have less than a hundred legs so you would need at least ten to get one thousand. We found lots so we must have had thousands of legs in our collecting trays. You would think that they would trip over their legs but when you look closely you can see that they move them in ripples along their bodies. They’re not designed to move fast as they don’t eat anything that runs away, just decaying plants and wood. That probably explains why we found ours near to some old tree stumps.

So how about joining my next event! We’re going to make shelters. Nothing quite as grand as Lochinch Castle but loads of fun! We’ll make tepees in the morning and dens in the afternoon and I’m going to bring my emergency shelter for you to try out too. I hope that you are all good at knots or can bring someone who is as we’ll need some great ones to help with the shelters.

Oh! And LOOK OUT! for our spider web weavings that we left for you to find in the Gardens.

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