Arthropleura. He's a distant relative of modern Millipedes and Centipedes, but as long as a car. He can rear up tall enough to look you right in the eye.
— Allen, about Arthropleura

Arthropleura ("Jointed Ribs") was a species giant centipede or millipede-like arthropod, a distant relative of modern millipedes and centipedes - an arthropleurid anthropod - native to the equatorial swamps of the Carboniferous, roaming what is now the northern hemisphere.



Arthropleura lived in the Carboniferous forests, approximately 350-280 million years ago. It lived alongside other animals like Mesothelae spiders, giant scorpions, Meganeura, and even primitive reptiles and giant predatory amphibians.

There are many fossilized footprints from Arthropleura can been found on the coast of Scotland in the Scottish land of Arron.


Arthropluera was among the biggest insect of the Carboniferous and was overall the largest insect that ever lived, measuring between 2-3 meters long, as big as a man/crocodile and as long as a car. The reason why they were able to grow so big is because the oxygen level was 50% higher than it is today. The high oxygen level in the Carboniferous Period allowed this creature (and many others) to grow to very large sizes. In addition, males and female were different in appearance. Arthropluera was arguably the largest known land invertebrate of all time, and would have had few predators (If any as an adult.)


Arthropleura was a solitary creature, often foraging on the forest floors of the Carboniferous. They were such powerful beasts. Although later found out they were vegetarians, their strong jaws can still have delivered a nasty bite.

Arthropleura were herbivorous though when they were juveniles, they ate meat because they couldn't digest plants until they grew older. Arthropleura was one of the first animals to eat plants, they had strong jaws, but it is unlikely that it may have been poisonous for defense.


When it comes to fighting, their armor was their best defense…unless it got split. These massive millipedes could rear up, tall enough to look humans right in the eye. And that rearing up was obviously a defensive reaction and they could spray like modern millipedes and centipedes. They could secrete cyanide. That smells of almonds and when they spray in the eyes of their enemies, and it really burned.