(photo sources: 1, 2)
The Amazonian giant centipede (Scolopendra gigantea) is both one of the largest centipedes in the world, and also often cited as one of the most ill-tempered. They grow to be about a foot long (31cm), and have 21-23 pairs of legs used both for quick movements, and for grasping on to dying prey. This centipede is a voracious predator, with most of its diet comprised by smaller invertebrates- however, it is also known to eat lizards, birds, frogs, mice, tarantulas, and it has even been filmed hunting bats. Anything it can overpower will make it a fine meal regardless of what it is, and they fight fiercely even with relatively large prey, wrapping their entire body around them to aid them.
Though frequently called “the only centipede that can kill a human,” that’s an exaggeration- death is unlikely to result from their bite. Despite that, its bite is extremely painful, and also results in swelling, weakness, and fevers. Paradoxically, however, members of the Scolopendra genus have venom that contains components which, when isolated from the more painful factors, could hold the key to developing powerful new pain medication. The specific compounds may even be more effective than morphine, with lesser side effects. Research is currently underway on potential applications for this strange venom cocktail. Related species Scolopendra subspinipes mutilans is currently the specific subject of this research.