Animal of the day – 2/11/2011 – The Caecilian

Caecilian

The animal of the day is the Caecilian. (Did you know: I have no idea how to pronounce this animal. Does it sound like someone from Sicily? No idea!

Ok, on to the bananas part about this animal. It might look like a giant earthworm, but it’s actually a legless amphibian. Many amphibians take care of their young, but the caecilian takes it to the next level.

Mother and her young

Scientists were aware that caecilian young were growing super fast, even though then never left the nest. They assumed the mother was reguritating or expelling some very nutritious fluid and feeding their young. Wrong.

Turns out, when they got a camera into a caecilian burrow, they noticed the young RIPPING the outer layer of flesh from their mother and eating it. Huh? Yeah, caecilian mothers grow a layer of skin every 3 days that their young then rip off and eat. That’s how they get so big so quick!

How about we let my hero, David Attenborough tell you all about it.

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