The House Centipede is Fast, Furious, and Just So Extra | Deep Look
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The House Centipede is Fast, Furious, and Just So Extra | Deep Look

October 23, 2019


You can now support Deep Look on Patreon! Details after the show. Ever get that creepy-crawly feeling when you’re
in the garage at night? That phantom tickle on the back of your neck? Well, there IS something out there, waiting
in the dark. The house centipede. It’s voracious, venomous, and the fastest
centipede there is. But don’t worry. It wouldn’t hurt a fly. Oh…not quite true. So, let’s clear something up right now. Despite their name, centipedes almost never
have a hundred legs. Most have fewer than sixty. And the tiny monster in your garage starts
out with only eight. Until it grows, sheds its exoskeleton, and
sprouts more legs. Then it sheds again. And again. And again. And again. And again, until it finally gets to 30. All those legs work together in a rippling,
rolling motion called a metachronal wave. It’s kind of the same way a worm gets around. But, the centipede is way, way faster, propelled
by these extra-long, super-charged legs in the back. Think of it as a well-synchronized crew boat,
skimming over the water with the strongest rowers in the rear, and the ones in front
keeping things steady. A set of stiff plates running down the centipede’s
back, called tergites, keep the segments underneath, called sternites, from rocking side-to-side. But the house centipede still has legs to
spare. And it’s found some novel ways to put them
to work. Those extra-EXTRA long ones at the very end
sort of look like antennae, don’t they? That’s the idea. It’s called automimicry, when one part of
the animal looks like another part, usually to fool predators, or prey. That’s what people always thought. But when scientists in Germany took a closer
look at these legs, they found as many sensory hairs on them as on the antennae. So these “faux” antennae aren’t just
dummies. They actually work. And see those fangs up front? Those are its forciples. In some early ancestor, they used
to be legs too. They clamp down and inject the venom. But house centipedes rarely bite people. Those forciples are also a great grooming
tool. Oh, aaanndd… the tip of each centipede leg
is another kind of tool, one so super-segmented that it’s almost like a rope. The centipede uses them as a lasso to keep
its prey from escaping. Not even this cricket, with its powerful kick,
can loosen the grip. So twinkle-toes here is kind of a creepy Swiss
Army knife. You might say it’s got a few legs up on
the competition. OK, OK, bad pun, I know. Centipedes are really methodical groomers. Kind of like cats. They start with the front legs and work their
way to the back. Join our Deep Look community on Patreon. Click the button or link below to get rewards
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  1. They don’t really show how big these actually are… like imagine one of these the size of your finger coming out of your boot

  2. So how did the early ancestor survive when it's fangs were legs? It would have had to survive millions of years for enough random mutations to occur to form fangs. How did it eat?

  3. House centipedes are freaky looking, but it’s always good to know that they’re around. They eat the bugs that are considered pests and they don’t normally hurt people. Sad that people are scared of them 🙁 They’re scary to see suddenly with no warning, but that’s it

  4. That's not a house centipede that's a silverfish okay so you're wrong and I'm right okay okay cuz I have an entire book about every single insect or anything close to an insect or bug and it has that exact thing in it and it's a silverfish okay so you're wrong

  5. I love my house centipedes, and I give them a little water on the floor when they come to the kitchen, which they so cutely drink. They have become more tamed since I began this.

  6. The thing that bothers me is that they apaer out of butfuck no were. I could be sitting on my couch and then i blink and bam leggy boi standing right there.

  7. It took everything within my soul to click on this video. Oddly, they are kind of cute up close… stay away from me.

  8. Bro one of em like the baby ones that are white while i was sitting on the ground one of them like i think i sat on or probably even after i sat on the ground one of them went through when i was not looking like going through under a fricking bridge it was gross when i was tickled little- also it had like 30 legs too but idk if its a baby or not

  9. This is my favorite species of centipede! THEIR SO FUZZY LOOKING!!! 😀
    Gotta love these creatures!!! THEY HAVE SO MANY FEATURES!!!

  10. I've had one in my bathroom for like 2 years and I dont bother killing it bc there are never any other bugs and one time I saw it eat a spider right in front of me and it was the coolest thing ever

  11. I saw one crawl across me dining room floor. It was the size of a subway car. Then I hopped on it and got to 6th Avenue in no time.

  12. Got rid of ALL of them including later eggs that hatched with diatramatreous earth mixed with borax for extra measures🤨

  13. One emerged from under my bed, minutes ago, so I watched this video. I am a bug person, but its hairy look and freaky spider adaptation makes my skin crawl. I prefer "normal bugs" thank you. Even spiders and earwigs are more favorable.

  14. I remember growing up in '70's and I'd turn the light on to go down in the basement. Those things were always on the wall at the bottom of the steps and I'd see how fast I could go down the eleven steps so I could stomp it into the wall. I got many but many got away 'cause they definitely are fast. These days, I would welcome them.

  15. I call these "Ear ticklers". I tend to find one or 2 a month crawling out my ear hole when I wake up, but guess what!

    I can hear better! 🙂

  16. All your comments section saw this long time back. I just saw it on my recommended list. But this is awesome you captured it so well….. almost feel like adoring these crawlers. Excellent

  17. Studying biology when I was 20…knowing all sorts of animal yet oblivious to this creature…I first saw one while I was smashed off my face….and. it. freaked. me. out.

  18. I was going to my basement saw one of these, went upstairs, went back down 15 minutes later to kill it…. it was gone

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