Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Death Crawler: Giant Killer Centipedes of the Amazon

 Scolopendra gigantea, or the Amazonian Giant Centipede; isn't the only deadliest Scolopendra living in South America. The Death Crawler (named after it's deadly reputation) is a large, venomous centipede that is considered to be the most feared arthropod in the Amazon. Death Crawlers can reach up to three feet by adulthood but, there are some cases in which the insect can grow up to five or six feet. They're both silent, and quick, which in the field of Monstrology; is a deadly combination, and are capable of stalking their prey from almost anywhere in their habitat (includes the canopy, underneath the earth in tunnels, and even over top water). Prey varies on size but, the arthropod has been reported to kill, and consume monkeys, caiman, capybara, and even humans. Death Crawlers have a few ways to attack like for example, if the prey is a caiman in the water; the large centipede would silently approach it's prey before constantly biting and wrapping it's body around the surprised meal. Death Crawlers, like all centipedes; have the ability to bite more than once which releases more venom into the poor creature attacked. They're also known (like in the example mentioned above) to wrap their bodies constantly around their prey in order to deliver more effective bites. This will only happen if the animal is smaller than its prey or the animal needs to quickly overpower it's prey to prevent escape.

Death Crawler venom, like their smaller cousins; is five times the dosage to help bring down larger prey. Symptoms of a Death Crawler bite vary upon each individual but, they usually start with severe pain, chills, weakness, fever, and finally death. Death Crawlers are creatures which must be totally respected while travelling through their territories. These large centipedes are known to be extremely aggressive and must not be taken as a joke because these creatures will attack, kill, and even consume you. If a Death Crawler crosses your path; do not run because they can easily catch up to you, and never provoke it to attack. Holding still and not making any noise will definately save your life. Anti-venom, if bitten; is possible but, must get ahold of it within a few hours before death depending on how many times the centipede has bitten you. Killing a Death Crawler is quite easy but, setting on fire is usually the best way to exterminate one. Having one as a pet isn't the best idea but, is possible.
Handling a Death Crawler (shown above) is never a bright idea due to their large size, strength, quickness, and ofcourse it's fatal venom.

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