Meet I. plenipes, the world's leggiest animal. This millipede, about an inch long, has been sighted in San Benito County, California, a known biodiversity hot spot.
Despite the name, which means "thousand-legged," most millipedes have on average 300 legs. Of the estimated 10,000 species, only one — I. plenipes — comes close to living up to its name and only thrives in California.
That rare species was first spied in 1926 in San Benito County, about 120 miles southwest of San Francisco, by a government scientist who counted up to a record 750 legs. For decades, scientists flocked to the area in search of the leggy bug, but were unsuccessful.
It remained elusive until a 28-year-old scientist from East Carolina University, Paul Marek, and his brother chanced upon it last fall.