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FASCINATING FACT: A millipede's back is covered by hardened plates called "tergites", but its underside is soft and vulnerable. Therefore, when a millipede feels it is in danger, it will coil its body into a tight spiral to protect its belly. This can cause problems at mating time, as the female may take the male’s attempts to mate with her as a threat, curling up tightly and preventing him from delivering any sperm. So what to do? The clever male will sometimes give a gentle massage provided by hundreds of his feet, gently walking on her back and hopefully getting her to relax. OK, new word alert: "gonopods". These are the special "sex" legs that male millipedes use to transfer their spermatophore, or sperm packet, to the female


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