Scientists stubbled upon the fossilized remains of an ancient millipede the length of a small car dating from before the time of the dinosaurs. The animal is believed to have broken the record for the largest-known arthropod, a phylum of segmented invertebrates that includes insects, lobsters and spiders.
The nearly three-foot-long Arthropleura fossil, discovered in England, about 40 miles north of Newcastle, is described in the Journal of the Geological Society on Tuesday. The find represents just one section of a creature thought to be three times as long — measuring 2.7 meters long (nearly 9 feet) and weighing about 50 kilograms (approximately 11o pounds).
The previous record for the largest known arthropod was a "sea scorpion," a sort of horseshoe-crab-arachnid ancestor that lived at around the same time as this giant millipede.
Remember those Dino-Riders toys from the 80s? Maybe they should have made some ring on giant armored bugs instead. Kids would love that shit!
An extinct millipede the length of a car once roamed northern England [Scott Neuman / NPR]