Centipedes have long, segmented bodies, covered in a tough, flexible exoskeleton. Each segment has one pair of legs, and there is a pair of antennae on their heads. At the head, one pair of legs is modified to work as fangs that bite and deliver venom. Often the last pair of legs are used like antennae too, used for sensing instead of walking. Most centipedes are flat, with short legs, but there are few that have rounded bodies and very long legs.
There are thousands of species of centipedes all around the world.
Most centipedes need to live in moist places, but a few can survive in deserts and dry grasslands.
Baby centipedes hatch out of their eggs looking like small versions of grown-up centipedes. As they grow they shed their exoskeleton to make room.
Most centipedes probably only live for a year or two at most, but some may live for several years
Most centipedes are not social, they almost always found alone. A few are found in groups.
Centipedes have pretty simple eyes, they probably communicate mostly through touch and smell. They can feel vibrations.
Centipedes are active hunters. They roam around looking for small animals to bite and eat. They eat insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates. If the centipede is large enough it will even attack small vertebrates like lizards.
Centipedes mainly avoid predators by hiding under bark, rocks, or in dead leaves, or burrowing in soil. Many species can run fast. They will also bite to protect themselves.
No centipede species are known to be endangered.
There are 26 species of centipedes known to occur in Michigan, but there could be more, many species of centipedes are still unknown to science
George Hammond (author), Animal Diversity Web.