Fossil of a giant millipede reveals 'the biggest bug that ever lived'

A fossil of a giant millipede found on a beach in northern England has revealed the "biggest bug that ever lived," paleontologists say. The fossil was discovered in January 2018 in a chunk of sandstone that had fallen from a cliff onto the beach at Howick Bay in Northumberland. The rock had cracked open, revealing the fossil. "It was a complete fluke of a discovery," said Neil Davies, a lecturer in sedimentary geology at the University of Cambridge's department of earth sciences, who said the fossil was spotted by a former doctoral student.
"It was an incredibly exciting find, but the fossil is so large it took four of us to carry it up the cliff face," said Davies in a news statement. The fossilized remains of the creature, named Arthropleura, dated from the Carboniferous Period about 326 million years ago. That's over 100 million years before the rise of the dinosaurs. When alive, the creature was estimated to have been 55 centimeters (22 inches) wide and up to 2.63 meters (8.6 feet) in length, weighing 50 kilograms (110 pounds). That would make it the largest-known invertebrate of all time -- larger than ancient sea scorpions that previously held this title, the statement said. Invertebrates are animals with no backbone.
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