|Category:||Nightmares of Nature|
The velvet worm has the body of a worm but also has many legs-as many as 43 pairs- to help it close in on prey. A night hunter, this creature moves along the forest floor until a victim is within range, then spits out a deadly 'glue' that eats away at the prey and keeps it from moving. Soon after, the worm is ready to enjoy its feast
- Slow and Stealthy: Even with 86 legs, the velvet worm moves slowly. This can work to the animal's advantage, however, since prey may not even notice the worm until it's too late.
- Tuned In: The velvet worm's antennae tell the creature about it needs to know about potential prey. These sensory organs telescope out to touch a victim and then quickly retract so as not to warn of the attack that's soon to come.
Unlike other worms, the velvet worm gives birth to live young, and endures an incredibly long pregnancy-13 months! Afterwards, the baby worms usually stay with their mother for several months, then begin to hunt on their own at night, and hide in soil or under leaves with groups of other velvet worms during the day.
- Get A Grip: Each of the velvet worms legs is equipped with a retractable, clawed foot. These help the worm grip the soil and maneuver over rough ground in tropical forests.
- Muscle Worm: A velvet worm is basically a muscle-filled tube. These creatures are soft to the touch because they're covered with small knobs that feel like velvet and give these animals their name.