Arthropleura

Obituary

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Information

The Arthropleura is one of the largest known invertebrates of all time! It roamed the Earth about 299-359 million years ago during the Carboniferous to the early Permian periods.It was known to live in Eastern North America and Scotland. Its closest relatives are the centipede and millipede, which are still living today. Its enormous size is due to the high oxygen content long ago. There was about two thirds more oxygen compared to today. They have a very heavily armored exoskeleton forming a very protective shield. Although, it had a weakness. It drastically slowed the moving speed of the animal. They had as many as thirty pairs of legs in which it walked on. Paleontologists arent sure about the Arthropleura's diet because they haven't found full jaws of the creature. But they believe that it was a herbivore from the plant materials found in coprolites (fossilized excrement).
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Extinction

Sadly, their species was suddenly forever extinct. Near the of the Carboniferous period, the world began to dry out and the forests in which they were living in was disappearing, thus causing the oxygen levels in the atmosphere to decrease. Without all the oxygen, they weren't able to maintain their huge body. This resulted in the extinction of the Arthropleura and other species of animals as well. Unfortunately, paleontologists have yet to find a complete fossilized Arthropleura because when they died, the jointed segments from their body armor were found only in individuals.
Nigel Marven's encounter with Arthropleura

Work Cited

"Animal A Day!: Arthropleura." Animal A Day!: Arthropleura. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <http://animaladay.blogspot.com/2011/01/arthropleura.html>.

"Arthropleura." Arthropleura. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. <http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/a/arthropleura.html>.

"Giant Invertebrates – Meganeura and Arthropleura." 600 Million Years. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. <http://museumvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/discoverycentre/600-million-years/ti

eline/carboniferous/giant-invertebrates/>.

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/01/15/largest_landdwelling_bug_of_al/