Armoured millipede as long as a Mini Cooper once roamed Britain

Armoured millipede as long as a Mini Cooper once roamed Britain

December 21, 2021

A GIANT armoured millipede as long as a Mini once roamed Britain.

Scientists say it would have measured nine feet in length and weighed eight stone.


Named Arthropleura, it trundled the coastal forests on hundreds of legs 326 million years ago — long before the age of the dinosaurs — when Britain had a tropical climate and lay near the equator.

A 2ft 6in-long fossil of part of its exoskeleton was spotted by accident by students after a cliff slide in Howick beach, Northumberland.

Experts used it to work out the full length. Arthropleura is the largest invertebrate in history.

Only two other examples have been found — both in Germany — but this one was older and bigger.

Dr Neil Davies, of Cambridge University, said: “It was an incredibly exciting find. The fossil is so large it took four of us to carry.”

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