Something new in the Grand Canyon

1 03 2007

According to this LiveScience article, a new genus of “albino” millipedes (comprising two species from two distinct locations) has been discovered in the Grand Canyon. Here’s a shot of the newly discovered critter;

millepede

The same group that investigated the caves that brought the millipedes to the attention of science also discovered new species of spider, barklouse, beetle, possibly two springtails, and a new genus of cricket, so between this and the discoveries being made in the Pacific and Antarctic waters, there’s plenty of new critters to study and describe these days. It is important to note, however, that it’s a misnomer to call the millipedes albino; true albinism being a recessive genetic disorder and not an adaptation to life in leaf litter, as J. Judson Wynne correctly pointed out (thanks for the clarification!) .


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5 responses

4 03 2007
J. Judson Wynne

Thanks very much for your interest in the millipede discovery. While I concur these millipedes are not true “albinos” as the press release described, we chose this term as a means of simplifying and underscoring the fact these critters lacked skin pigmentation. For clarification, these millipedes are not adapted to the cave environment. During the last glaciation, they evolved to life in the leaf litter. Many life litter dwellers do not require eyes and pigmentation — consequently, they lack these characters.

5 03 2007
Laelaps

[…] Comments J. Judson Wynne on Something new in the Grand Canyoncrazyharp81602 on New dinosaur! – AlbertaceratopsBest Poker Tools on So when is this coming to a […]

24 03 2008
Judas Gutenberg

Hi – my name is Quintilis but I’m using my Dad’s account. He likes science and believes in Darwin, but I believe in Jesus. What do you think this white millipede says about our Creator, the Lord God of Heaven? Why would He have put a white millipede on Earth only to be discovered days or months before the End of Days? Is it an omen? Or could it be something even more subtle than that. I say we sequence its genome and look for passages of Revelations encoded in its nucleotides.

31 08 2008
name

Hello!,

1 09 2008
name

Hi!,

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