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”).
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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