🚀 TL;DR: A blind, 486-legged millipede species has been discovered in Los Angeles, near a freeway and a Starbucks. Named the Los Angeles Thread Millipede, it’s a translucent creature that burrows underground and relies on hornlike antennas for navigation. Its discovery highlights the vast unknown world beneath our feet. Scientists used DNA analysis to confirm it as a new species. With millions of animal species yet to be discovered, citizen science plays a vital role in bridging the gap between the natural world and the lab. The finding underscores the importance of protecting these species and the environment as a whole. 🐛🕵️♀️🌎
LOS ANGELES THREAD MILLIPEDE: A NEW SPECIES, A WORLD UNDISCOVERED
The City of Angels has always been known for its star-studded Hollywood, traffic-clogged freeways, and now, a new inhabitant has emerged to claim its place in the spotlight – the Los Angeles Thread Millipede. This extraordinary discovery, made by naturalists in a Southern California hiking area, has taken the scientific world by storm.
Meet the Los Angeles Thread Millipede: a tiny, blind creature, no longer than a paperclip but as slim as pencil lead. It boasts a staggering 486 legs, and its head sports hornlike antennas that help it navigate its way through the underground world. With a translucent and sinuous appearance, one might mistake it for a jellyfish tentacle rather than a land-dwelling arthropod.
The researchers, led by entomologist Paul Marek from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, found this intriguing millipede just four inches below the ground’s surface. Surprisingly, this little creature was discovered close to human establishments like a bustling freeway, a Starbucks, and an Oakley sunglasses store. Talk about a species embracing the urban lifestyle!
But wait, there’s more! Under a microscope, the Los Angeles Thread Millipede gives off vibes reminiscent of a creature straight out of a Hollywood monster film. 🎬🎥🦖
“It goes to show that there’s this undiscovered planet underground,” says Paul Marek, hinting at the vast mysteries waiting to be unraveled beneath our feet. The fact that we are still finding new species right in our own backyards is mind-boggling. Who knows what other surprises are hiding beneath the surface?
The discovery of the Los Angeles Thread Millipede is a testament to the power of citizen science. The naturalists used the iNaturalist app, a platform for citizen naturalists, to share their findings and collaborate with experts. By leveraging modern tools and DNA sequencing, they confirmed this millipede to be an entirely new species named Illacme socal, or the Los Angeles Thread Millipede.
Cedric Lee, one of the naturalists and a doctoral student at UC Berkeley, highlights the importance of citizen science in exploring the vast unknown. He’s discovered and documented thirty centipede species in California, proving that ordinary individuals can play a pivotal role in scientific discoveries.
With millions of animal species yet to be discovered, we have merely scratched the surface of Earth’s biodiversity. Scientists estimate that around 10 million animal species reside on our planet, but we’ve only encountered a fraction of them – approximately one million. This realization leaves us with an exciting yet thought-provoking question: What other incredible creatures are lurking in the shadows, waiting to be revealed?
Brian Brown, curator of entomology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, sheds light on the scale of undiscovered life around us. His research project, BioSCAN, showed that Los Angeles alone is home to an estimated 20,000 species of insects, some of which remain unidentified. 🕷️🦗🕷️
As we continue to uncover new species and explore the world beneath our feet, we must remember the importance of preservation. Threats like climate change and invasive species pose a significant danger to native species. To protect and preserve the unexplored frontiers right in our backyard, we must invest in local parks and protect patches of wilderness amid urbanization. Saving these habitats might hold the key to solutions in the challenging times that lie ahead.
So, let’s pause for a moment and ponder this intriguing discovery. The Los Angeles Thread Millipede reminds us that we share our planet with countless fascinating and mysterious beings. What other extraordinary creatures are hidden from our sight, waiting to be acknowledged and protected? And, in the quest for understanding the natural world, how can we ensure that these invaluable inhabitants survive and thrive?
Only time will reveal the answers, but one thing is certain: the Los Angeles Thread Millipede has brought to light a world of wonders, inviting us to explore the uncharted territory beneath our city streets. 🌟🔬🕳️
Original News Story URL: https://fox8.com/news/new-millipede-species-crawling-under-la-is-blind-has-486-legs/