Seabird chicks fall foul of giant centipedes
BBC Wildlife|October 2021
Petrels are among the unexpectedly varied diet of the very hungry arthropods.
Simon Birch

Researchers have found evidence of giant, carnivorous centipedes killing and eating up to 3,700 black-winged petrel chicks annually on a remote South Pacific island. It is believed that this is the first time that such behaviour has been documented.

Phillip Island centipedes (Cormocephalus coynei) can grow to almost 30cm in length. They subdue their prey by using two pincer-like appendages, called forcipules, to inject a toxic venom into their prey, which, apart from seabird chicks, includes geckos, skinks and crickets.

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