For more than a century, thousands of poisonous millipedes have swarmed in the densely forested mountains of Japan, forcing the train to stop. These “millipedes”, known for their famous obstacles, will appear often-and then disappear again and again for years. Now, scientists have figured out why.
It turns out that these Millipede (Cotton bollworm), which is unique to Japan and has an unusually long and synchronized eight-year life cycle.Such a long “cyclical” life cycle-a group of animals undergoing various stages of life at the same time-was previously only confirmed in certain species cicada It has a life cycle of 13 and 17 years, as well as bamboo and some other plants.
Jin Yoshimura, professor emeritus of the Department of Mathematics and Systems Engineering at Shizuoka University in Japan, said: “This millipede is the first non-insect arthropod in all journal organisms.” He studied the latter two cicadas. Decades.
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Japanese train operators first discovered an outbreak of train millipedes in 1
Now, Professor Niijima, Nomomoi Nii and Yoshimura of the Department of Mathematics and Systems Engineering at Shizushima University have confirmed the life cycle through historical outbreak reports and detailed investigations. Over the years, the author has collected millipedes from the mountainous areas of Honshu, Japan, and conducted research on these small animals. They determine their life stage by counting the number of legs and body parts, because this is unique to the age of millipedes.
The researchers found that multiple relatives of this population have their own synchronicity; in other words, one brood may be in the egg stage, while the other may be an adult. Every population circulates through the entire life cycle of eight years.
Millipedes that periodically appear on train tracks have no affinity for train tracks and are not destructive. Instead, insects simply try to reach foraging grounds sometimes on the other side of the railroad tracks. Yoshimura told Live Science that, as it happened, the railway was their “obstacle” to the new breeding farm. Yoshimura said that in order to survive, these millipedes chew on dead or rotting leaves, which are sandwiched between the soil and the fresh leaves on the surface.
Due to the large number of adults, adults and seventh nymphs-the pre-adult stage-will quickly collect all the food they are born. He said that so they began to trek to a new feeding location. At the second location, they ate the rotten leaves, mate with each other, laid a new batch of eggs, and later died.
Researchers hypothesize that their extended life cycle can be synchronized with hibernation. Unlike the periodic cicadas that appear in large numbers and therefore make it unlikely that everyone will succumb to predators, these train millipedes do not need additional protection from predators. Researchers say that they already have a pretty good defense mechanism: When attacked, they release cyanide poisons.
The research results were published in the journal on January 13 Royal Society of Open Science.
Originally published in “Life Science”.