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A close up look at velvet worms (Peripatoides novaezelandiae)

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Velvet worms, or peripatoides novaezelandiae, can be found around the glob, including Australia, Africa, Asia, Costa Rica, and Brazil… these particular leggy creatures in the video are from New Zealand:

Unchanged for 570 million years, Peripatus share traits with annelids (segmented worms) and arthropods (insects, crustaceans, arachnids) yet appear much like a caterpillar. Eggs hatch inside the female and she then gives birth to the live young. Peripatoides novaezelandiae have 15 pairs of legs and grow up to 80mm (3.15”).

From Wikipedia:
Peripatus feeds by trapping its prey (mostly small insects) in a white, sticky fluid it ejects from two antennae near its head. The fluid hardens on contact with the air immoblizing the prey. Peripatus then chews a hole in its prey’s exoskeleton with its mandibles (which move independently of each other), injects digestive enzymes, and begins sucking out its prey’s pre-digested innards.

Information I wouldn’t have guessed from looking at these creatures.

Watch this next: Slime Cannon Attack – How Velvet Worm slime jets work

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