While centipedes have been spotted in the Arctic Circle, these little carnivores prefer environments where they can stay moist; they usually live under rocks, logs or leaf litter that lies on the forest floor. Centipedes lose water rapidly through their skin because they lack the waxy cuticle --- tough but flexible outer covering of an organism --- that many insects have. Because of this, centipedes gravitate toward moist micro-habitats. They are also attracted to decaying matter. Rotting wood and ground burrows are commonly known for playing host to centipede populations.
The centipede is a carnivorous invertebrate that has been found around the world except in Antarctica. It favors moist habitats, such as those found under rocks, logs and leaf litter. Centipedes have also been known to inhabit burrows in the ground or openings in rotting wood. They prefer damp and lush forest environments as opposed to hot and dry desert conditions.
Centipedes are invertebrates that have a hard exoskeleton. Their bodies are highly segmented, ranging anywhere between 15 and 177 segments depending on the specie type. Each segment of their bodies has one pair of jointed legs. The head of the centipede features a pair of antennae and a mouth. The rear has a pair of venomous claws used for capturing and killing prey. Centipedes are usually between 0.1 and 11 inches in length.
Centipedes are carnivorous animals. Because of the effective use of their claws, centipedes are among the most dominant predators of the insect world. On the forest floor, they prey on insects, spiders, earthworms and other small invertebrates. Large specie types, including the giant redheaded centipede, have been known to eat small mammals and reptiles.
Like most other insects, centipedes face predation by larger animals in their habitat. Birds, toads and small mammals hunt and eat many different centipede species. Some of these predators have been known to dislodge rocks or ruffle leaf litter in search of centipede populations.
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