; phylum Arthropoda, subphylum Atelocerata)
A class of arthropods in which the body is segmented, each segment of the trunk being formed from two fused somites. Each resulting diplosegment thus bears two pairs of legs. Millipedes do not move rapidly but are able to force their way through soil and similar loose material, and many are able to climb smooth surfaces. Many roll into a ball when threatened. Most millipedes are herbivorous, although some ingest soil from which they digest organic matter and a few species are carnivorous. More than 7500 species have been described. They occur in all continents but are most common in the tropics.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.