Desert Millipede

By: Deonna Sainz

YouTube Video Desert Millipede

 
INTRODUCTION:
Today I will teach you about a desert crawler! Have you ever heard of the term Orthoporus ornatus? No? Well let me tell you a little about myself I am commonly known as the desert millipede. I am about four to five inches long and I can be found in Arizona lying under a rock in the Sonoran desert! I enjoy eating decaying material and staying moist. I have two pairs of legs on each segment of my body and depending how many segments I have can mean I have hundreds of legs. Male millipedes enjoy the benefits of a few pairs of gonopods, which is how you can identify females and males. The name millipede comes from the Latin milli for
"thousand" and ped for "foot." Scroll down to read more about me, complete an activity, and test your knowledge in a quiz. Go on get going and have fun!

WHO AM I?
I am long and have more legs than you can count. I am usually brown or black. Do you know who I am? Yes, I am a desert millipede. I can grow to be about 4 to 5 inches and I can be found in the Sonoran desert. I am part of the Orthoporus ornatus family which is, commonly known as the Arizona Desert Millipede. Some of my predators are birds, badgers, and rodents.

 
WHERE DO I LIVE?
Millipedes can be found worldwide except in Polar Regions but the desert millipede can specifically be found in North America in the Sonoran desert. I live in burrows that I build myself. I am nocturnal but may be seen in the morning following summer rains.
 
WHAT DO I EAT?
I move very slow and feed on decaying organic material. During the summer and winter I can evade the weather by burrowing and that reduces the amount of water I loose and allows me to escape extreme conditions. To find water I burrow into soils that are a little moister than my surroundings. Finally, I have gone through a physical adaptation. My body, or exoskeletons, is covered with a waxy coating that holds moisture in and reduces water loss when I am active.
 
HOW DO I LOOK?
I have a flattened body that consists of three parts; head, thorax, and abdomen. I am overall brown or black. In the Arizona desert I can sometimes be reddish-brown. I have two pairs of legs per body segment. If I am disturbed I roll into a coil. If further threatened, I exude foul-tasting chemicals from openings along the sides of my body. These noxious substances are the millipede’s only defense, since it doesn’t bite.
 
HOW DO I REPRODUCE?
One of the most interesting facts about me is that male millipedes enjoy the benefits of a few pairs of gonopods, which are modified legs used to transfer sperm to the female. Millipedes are egg layers that do not care for their eggs or young. The eggs are laid underground or in some
other concealed area. Millipedes can live 10 years or more.
 
FUN FACT ABOUT ME?
Ready to learn some cool facts about me? I have two pairs of legs per body segment. The number of body segments, thus legs, depends on how many times they have shed because they add new segments each time they shed. There are 10,000 species of millipede around. They are poor sighted animals, and some species have lost their sight all together. Millipedes do not move one foot forward at a time – they move five or six in unison. The
name millipede comes from the Latin milli for "thousand" and ped for "foot."

 

Activities

Kindergarten: Draw a picture of a Millipede in its habitat and color it. Once you are finished come tell the teacher or parent an interesting fact you learned. After you finish the activity please complete the assessment quiz.

First Grade: Draw a picture of a Millipede in its habitat and color it. Once you are finished write a sentence explaining your picture, or a fact you learned. After you finish the activity please complete the assessment quiz.

Second Grade: Fill in the blanks to the questions and then find all the words in the word search. There is a word box to help you out! Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on download to view the Millipede Word Search. Once it’s downloaded please print the activity. After you finish the activity please complete the assessment quiz.

Third Grade: Read the questions and answer them while filling in the crossword puzzle. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on download to view the Millipede Crossword puzzle. Once it’s downloaded please print the activity. After you finish the activity please complete the assessment quiz.
Assesment
WHERE CAN YOU FIND INFORMATION ABOUT ME? LOOK BLEOW!
 
A to Z Animals
A to Z animal facts. Want to see more pictures and interesting facts this is a great site.
http://a-z-animals.com/animals/millipede/

National park services
This is a national park service page. This website has a great diagram of the millipede’s body.
http://www.nps.gov/petr/planyourvisit/millipedes.htm
 
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
What to know the difference between a millipede and centipede the site below will compare both.
 
 
The Encyclopedia of science

The encyclopedia of science give lots of information then you can imagine, look here for specific facts about each question.
http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/M/millipede.html

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Deonna Sainz,
Oct 3, 2011, 11:18 PM
ĉ
Deonna Sainz,
Oct 3, 2011, 11:18 PM
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