New genus of millipede discovered.


Old Timer
Aug 21, 2005
I thoutht you guy might find this aritcle interesting if you have not seen it yet.

New genus of millipede discovered
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz., March 5 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have reported discovering a new genus of millipede in caves on opposite sides of the Grand Canyon.

J. Judson Wynne, a biologist at Northern Arizona University and a cave research scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Southwest Biological Center, joined Kyle Voyles, Arizona State Cave Coordinator for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, in collecting specimens that led to the discovery.

"We knew the millipedes likely represented two distinct species because the two populations were separated by the Grand Canyon," Wynne said. "The fact these two species belong to an entirely new genus was a great surprise to us."

Wynne said the eyeless albino millipedes are "essentially living fossils" and provide researchers with another piece of the puzzle needed to better understand cave ecosystems.

Representing two distinct species -- one occurring in a cave on the Grand Canyon's south rim and the other in two caves on the north rim -- the new genus of cave-limited millipede has been confirmed by Bill Shear, a millipede expert at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.

The new millipede genus is being named in honor of NAU ecologist, John Prather, who died last year.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International. All Rights Reserved