Mar 3, 2009

Devoted Mother

It's not a worm, and it's not a snake. It's not even a legless lizard.

I'ts a caecilian, and it's an amphibian.

These creatures are rare among amphibians in that some species of caecilians fertilize their eggs inside their bodies and give birth to fully developed live young (the others do it the time honored amphibian way of laying eggs which hatch into larval young with gills that need to metamorphose later).

Their devoted parenting doesn't end there. Mommy grows an extra thick, slimy, and regenerating layer of skin for the caecilianlings to dine upon until they can fend for themselves. Now, that is motivation for the mother to cut the apron strings as soon as possible.

Thanks for the caecilian, Jelo.


Kit said...

I love caecilians. They are so awesomely bizarre. Never had a mommy one, but they are still interesting to watch.

jynxkat said...

who needs aliens when there's critters like this right here on earth?

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of something I read in a book on evolution when I was a kid. Primitive mammal ancestors might have licked sweat and oils from their mothers' skin for nutrition, and eventually the glands on accessible parts of female animals' bodies were refined to produce specialized nutrient fluid (a.k.a. milk).

Anonymous said...

wow they look pretty kewl....i like the bizarreness to them. they are pretty awesome looking to.