Feb 23, 2012

Ugly devotion

Isn't that an endearing picture of motherly love? Even if it is so ugly that it makes you a little queasy?

You didn't know that worms take such good care of their offspring? Well, that's not a worm. It's a caecilian, which is a type of amphibian. Believe it or not, this animal is actually a limbless, burrowing cousin to frogs, toads and salamanders. And they not only look quite different their relatives, they have rather different reproductive strategies. About 75% of the species give birth to live young, and the rest, like this one, lay eggs that are guarded by the female till they hatch.

This particular caecilian is one of seven new species that scientists discovered recently in India, which are members of an entirely new family. You may love ugly animals, but I'm betting you can't beat these researchers: they spent a total of 1,000 man-hours digging to find these creatures. Now that's devotion.

-Wombat (No Relation)

1 comment:

sute said...
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