Perth: Australian and American scientists have discovered a conch that has 1,306 legs at a depth of 60 meters. This is by far the highest number of legs in any animal.
Earlier, the world record for most legs was held by Illacme pipes, another conch found in the US state of California, which has up to 750 legs. The newly discovered conch has 556 more legs which is a big difference.
The conch was excavated in August 2020 at a depth of 60 meters during a mineral exploration operation in the Eastern Gold Fields area of Australia. It looks like a sack that encloses with a drawstring.
Further excavations revealed four more living specimens of this conch, which were preserved by scientists.
A closer look at their physical and genetic makeup revealed that it was a new species of conch that had never been seen before.
Hence the scientific name of the Eumillipes Persephone, which is in Greek and means “the real thousand-foot Persephone.” (Greek mythology also mentions a goddess named Persephone who lives in the abyss of the earth.)
According to further details, the width of this newly discovered conch is only 0.95 mm (less than one millimeter), while the length is 95.7 mm. That is, its length is 100 times greater than its width.
Its body is made up of 330 segments while its legs are very small which can be seen clearly only through a microscope.
The legs of the Umalipus Persephone are round and pointed, but not its eyes. It has a beak-like structure on its head with antennae.
Experts believe that the legs and a large number of body parts of this conch may have made it easier for it to move through the small underground cracks.
Because it is located deep in the ground, large-scale mining in the Eastern Gold Fields poses a serious threat to its natural habitat.
Experts have suggested that special attention be paid to the animals found underground in the area and their natural habitats during mining.
Note: Details of this discovery have been published in the latest issue of Nature Publishing Group’s online research journal “Scientific Reports.