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Some centipedes swim by undulating their whole bodies from tail to head, the opposite direction that snakes and eels use, which helps cut down the drag created by their many legs

Life

27 October 2022

Brown centipedes swim across water with a weird wiggleShutterstock/Narupon Nimpaiboon
Some centipedes don’t swim by paddling their many legs, but by wiggling their body from tail to head – the opposite direction of motion that snakes use to move across water.
Kelimar Diaz at the Georgia Institute of Technology and her colleagues used high-speed cameras to observe how brown centipedes (Lithobius forficatus) move across the surface of water. Brown centipedes are found in the UK and North America, and don’t live up to their name – each centipede has just 28 …

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