Fossil Record

(figure used with permission from Robert Wear)

The oldest definite millipede fossils date back to the Middle Silurian (late Wenlock to early Ludlow) and Lower Devonian (Lockhovia) of Scotland with their acme in the Devonian and Late Carboniferous periods. Millipedes played an important role in Palaeozoic terrestrial ecosystems and were amongst the first animals to establish terrestrial habitats. At least some species were fully terrestrial by the, quite likely well before that. Their robust calcified exoskeleton and burrowing habits greatly increase their chance of preservation.


Millipede trackway.

(figure used with permission from Dennis C. Murphy)