Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Myriacantherpestes (MEER-ee-uh-canth-er-PEST-eez) is a very spiny millipede that lived from the Silurian to the Carboniferous. Its many spines could have been used for protection against predators, or for identifying each other. I first heard about this creature in the book Paleo Bugs, by Timothy J. Bradley.

In the picture below, Myriacantherpestes is on the right and Archidesmus is on the left. Myriacantherpestes was three feet long, but Archidesmus was about 2.5 cm, as big as most extant North American millipedes. They both lived in the Silurian Period, along with the millipede that resembled a miniature Arthropleura, which was called Eoarthorpleura.

Myriacantherpestes was probably a descendant of the earliest known land animal, Pneumodesmus. In the Silurian, millipedes like Myriacantherpestes were the dominant animals on land.

1 comment:

  1. Art for all your milliped needs!!!You NEED ALL papers published by him and Burke,j.j.1973 Kirtlandia,no.17,1-24 figs.1-7 & Burke 1979 no.30 1-24, figs.1-5 This is the paper John named Myriacantherpestes.You MUST have these for your Mazon Creek Area Library.That museum owns all of my millipeds but one. That the one John complmented me on my fossil prep skills.I was in high school then!!OH the 1973 paper set THE STANDERD for milliped studys thereafter !!