|“||Arthropleura. He's a distant relative of modern Millipedes, but as long as a car. He could rear up tall enough to look you right in the eye.||”|
– Kenneth Branagh
Arthropleura was a distant relative of modern millipedes and centipedes - an arthropleurid anthropod. It grew to 2.3 metres in length, as tall as a man and as long as a car.
Arthropleura is the biggest land arthropod known to humans. The reason why they were able to grow so big is because the oxygen level was 50% higher than it is today. The higher oxygen content in the atmosphere could support larger species whose circulatory system was not as efficient as those of mammals and other species. Arthropleura lived in the Carboniferous forests, approximately 323-299 million years ago.
Although Arthropleura's diet consisted of mostly plants, and it was possibly carnivorous as a juvenile, because they did not develop the ability to properly digest plants until they matured. Arthropleura was one of the first animals to eat plants. Although they were vegetarians, they had strong jaws and could deliver a nasty bite, but it is unlikely that they were poisonous.
Arthropleura had few if any predators, but its large size and thick armor offered substantial protection. They could also rear up tall enough to look humans right in the eye. Rearing up was a defensive reaction and they probably could spray like modern millipedes and centipedes that secrete cyanide.
In the series
An Arthropleura was seen in the second episode. An Arthropleura chases a Megarachne away from its territory. Then it fights a Proterogyrinus: at first the Arthropleura uses its armored skin to protect itself from getting bitten, but Proterogyrinus pushes the giant creature over, causing the Arthropleura to get impaled by a large tree stump. The Protergyrinus then consumes the carcass by munching on its soft, exposed innards.
Appearances In Other Media
Read More at the Prehistoric Park Wiki
Arthropleura appeared in the fifth episode. Nigel Marven accidentally found one and the Arthropleura confronted him. The Arthropleura didn't identify him as a threat and crawled away. When a forest fire started, Nigel Marven saved it and took it back to Prehistoric Park. Head Keeper Bob later fed it in the Bug House.
Read more at the Anomaly Research Centre
Arthropleura first appeared in the second episode of the first season. It poisoned a London Underground pest controller after coming through an Anomaly. The Home Office team later found it and got attacked by it. Stephen Hart later got poisoned by it. Nick Cutter, Tom Ryan and Connor Temple later found the Arthropleura and got a venom sample. They fought the Arthropleura until it got electrocuted by an electric box.
The Arthropleura later reappeared in the penultimate and final episodes of the second season. Oliver Leek took one and put it in his Creature Prison. When a Smilodon destroyed the controls, the Arthropleura and all the other creatures were released. It was killed when all the creatures turned on each other.
The series gave an inaccurate portrayal of the animal by giving it more bulk, making it larger, and giving it a venomous bite.