Puerto Rican Giant Centipede, Scolopendra gigantea; Vieques, Puerto Rico via Wikipedia

The giant centipede is indeed an aptly named creature. They can be more than a foot in length and have almost 50 legs carrying them. You’d think that all of those feet would result in a slow and thoughtful creature, but alas no. The giant centipede is incredibly fast and aggressive. They should be found only in the sub-tropical rainforests of South America and the Caribbean but for some unfathomable reason the things have become very popular with collectors.

Now I’m not generally a fan of insects and centipedes completely freak me out. Seriously. I can’t sleep in the same room with even a small centipede. But here’s the true nightmare about giant centipedes: they eat animals that can at times be considerably larger than them. To be fair, they don’t eat humans, but they do eat bats and birds for example, just hanging upside down from the ceiling of the cave with only a couple of legs still hanging on, supporting the much heavier bat how exactly seems to be a little unclear. While killing their prey, they will wrap their entire body around their intended victim and glom onto them with all their legs as well while their venom does its thing. So yeah. Sweet dreams and all that.

gigantea (9) by todbaker, on Flickr