23 April 2008

A big millipede: Narceus americanus

Narceus1

Besides the rat snake, the only other animal I photographed during Tuesday’s Earth Day trip along the C&O Canal was this millipede Narceus americanus. There were also many butterflies around, but try as I did, I just couldn’t approach any of them for a good close-up.

Narceus2

These big millipedes were quite common on the towpath. I remember seeing them also during previous visits to the area. Unfortunately, large numbers of them get run over by bicycles. I am afraid I may also be guilty of at least one count of murder; for my defense, I can only say that it wasn’t premeditated. When there are so many things to look at along the path, it’s difficult to ride with one’s eyes fixed to the ground in front of the bike.

The toll of road crossings on invertebrate populations was the subject of this post. Of course, they are not the only ones who suffer on the roads. The New Scientist’s Environment blog reports that according to a recent study, amphibians made up 93% of all animal deaths on Indiana roads over a 16-month period.


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