Donating my pet to science... sorta.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by secretdonkey, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Last October I caught a giant centipede (over 8 inches) near my office and I've been keeping him at home. Buying feeder crickets and keeping his cage conditions right have become a chore, and my efforts to find a buyer for this exceptional specimen met with no success. So, I sent an email to the biology department of my local state university, and got a call back from the department head. He was very eager to accept my little critter, and confirmed that he was fairly rare in our area and of exceptional size.

    So, with a bit of sadness, the wife and I are gonna deliver him to the good professor tomorrow. Funny how you can grow attached to something so hideous (and venomous)...


    Picture of Scolopendra heros (mine is actually bigger and fatter than this one!).

  2. stuie86


    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx

    thats all i can say is WOW!!

    but dont feel bad its just a bug... did you ask the guy what hes doing with it, if its rare in your area like he says i dont think hes going to kill it.
  3. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I specified in my email and in conversation that I was offering the specimen only if their interest lie in keeping it alive. The guy I talked to teaches invertebrate zoology and I had actually met him before - he is active as a spokesman for local environmental/ecological issues - so I think he'll be in as good hand as I might possibly hope for. I'm including contact info and a standing offer to take him back, along with the collection date/place info that was requested.

  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Ahh, you're finally letting the big guy go.

    He was quite a catch, too.
  5. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    This guy is not into stir fry, is he?
  6. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Wow I remember that thread from way back when. That picture is wild man...if I found something like outside I'd probably run (yes I admit it), but YOU picked it up. You have guts that I do not. ;)

    I hope this professor gives it a good home for you.
  7. Personally,Centipede's creep me out...for example,I saw a small one on the side of this house....and I was freaked out...they're very scary,like right now...I just got the chills.

    but,I think they're kinda neat in a weird way...

    I hope they give it a good home:)

    so,how'd you get him? put him ina jar? wat?

  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Just out of curiousity.....did you ever actually PET that thing SD? :meh: :eek:
  9. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    That's just creepy :eek:

    Though if I saw one of those I certainly would be intrigued :D
  10. i thought you might have been talking about ripping your cats brains out to test how long it stays fresh in the freezer or something along those lines, but giving a bug to some science dude? thats not news *pshhtt* thats just an "interesting fact" :D , nah take some pictures of you and the little guy while you still can, youll regret it if you dont
  11. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Good for you, man! That centipede is just awesome. I saw a South American giant centipede last month at the Rain Forest exhibit at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium, and that one was larger (about 12" long), but it was just brown... yours is so much cooler looking! :)
  12. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Deptford, NJ
    you my friend, are bad ass
  13. Nice color combo..That bug is a bad ass...:bassist:
  14. EWW EWW EWW.... God, that thing is disgusting. Cool.
  15. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Well, he's now officially a ward of Lamar University...

    FWIW, I caught him in a large coffee can, with a coworker 'herding' him. He was wicked fast back then - before I fattened him up. And re: petting - no, he has venom in his bite _and_ in barbs on each one of his legs, so definitely no petting this little guy.

    Funny story - when I first got him he was housed in the largest plastic bug/reptile cage the pet store had. I left this plastic cage out on our dining room table - anyway, that night I hear a crash and write it off as typical mischief from one of our cats - figure we'll clean whatever it is up in the morning. But before I drift back to sleep, I realize the possibility - bolt up, run into the dining room - and scoop the centipede back into his cage just in time to avoid having a venomous monster at large in the house (and thereby saving my marriage in all liklihood!).

    The wife has grown very fond of him, though, and is kinda sad to see him go, as well. I'm really just too busy to keep his cage conditions right (damp but not soggy) and a steady supply of feeder crickets on hand.

    Something memorable happened as I was preparing him for delivery - I brought his cage outside to change the dirt/litter so it'd be fresh. I had the cage on the ground near an ivy planter and I heard something go 'thwack!' I looked and there was an anole lizard (the common kind frequently called a chameleon) who was trying to get at one of the feeder crickets inside the cage. He charged at the side of the cage a couple more times before noticing me sitting there, and hightailing it back into the ivy. Would've made a great submission for one of those "America's Funniest Animals" shows...

  16. bentem


    Oct 18, 2002
    Rockville, MD
    Did the centipede have a name?

    The cameleion running into a glass wall makes perfect sense. When humans run into a glass wall, they stop, and open the door(usually). If you consider the size of the lizards brain in relation to a Humans, you would see that they dont have the mental capacity of Humans, and take a lot longer to realize that there is a glass door.:bassist: :D :p
  17. bentem


    Oct 18, 2002
    Rockville, MD
    scratch that last part.
  18. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    My wife named him "Icky."

  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I would have called him "Stampy".

    Or maybe ZZ (He's got legs........)

    I name everything!