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Invertebrates
Centipede or Millipede?



Centipede or Millipede?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.74

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    mid-flight, millipede, millipedes, poisonous, centipede, harmless, interesting, outer, defense, logs, spiral, defend, rocks, alike, liquid, longer
     content words:    Arctic Circle


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Centipede or Millipede?
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Centipedes and millipedes look alike. They have long narrow bodies. Their bodies are made up of small segments. The segments look a little like beads on a string. They are not insects. They are not worms, either. They are related to lobsters, shrimp, and crayfish. Even though these other family members live in water, centipedes and millipedes all live on land.
 
2     They belong to a family of animals called arthropods. They are also invertebrates. They do not have backbones. They have a hard outer shell.
 
3     Both millipedes and centipedes have many legs. In fact, they were named for the numbers of their legs. Centipedes have one pair of legs for each of their body sections. Millipedes have two pairs of legs for most of the sections of their bodies. One kind of millipede has about 750 legs! Most types of centipedes have between 30 and 300 legs.
 
4     Both types live in moist places. They may live in the soil. Some live under dead leaves. They can be found under rocks. Some live inside fallen logs.
 
5     Centipedes and millipedes are alike in some ways. In some ways, they are very different. Millipedes eat rotting plant materials. They like dead leaves. They like rotting logs. They like dead plants. They are harmless to people. Some millipedes can roll their bodies up into a tight spiral. This is a way they defend themselves. Another defense is to ooze a stinky liquid. They move slowly on short legs.

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Invertebrates
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