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April 17, 2006 10:31 PM   Subscribe

Today in weird animals : An international group of scientists has described an animal that provides nutrition for its young by letting them peel off and eat its skin.
posted by Afroblanco (30 comments total)

 
An international group of scientists has described an animal that provides nutrition for its young by letting them peel off and eat its skin.

Republicans?

(or wait, is that "eat their young" by running up trillions in debt to the red chinese?)
posted by Davenhill at 10:35 PM on April 17, 2006


This is exactly why I wasn't breast-fed.

I'm a little unclear why anyone needs to drag these poor worm-like amphibians into politics, though.
posted by freetshirt at 10:46 PM on April 17, 2006


I've never heard of caecilians before. I'm grateful for the new knowledge, but also a little grossed out.

Hrm.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:52 PM on April 17, 2006


Very disturbing. But yet still not as disturbing as the mating practice of the anglerfish.
posted by evilangela at 11:02 PM on April 17, 2006


"You can draw parallels between skin feeding in these creatures and lactation in mammals, so studying how this form of parenting evolved might shed light on how parenting developed in mammals."

Nursing has been one of those "WTF?" concepts in my head when it comes to evolution for *years*. This helps a bit.
posted by namespan at 11:11 PM on April 17, 2006


Very disturbing. But yet still not as disturbing as the mating practice of the anglerfish.

Can we start the "Disturbing Design" school of bioontological thought?
posted by namespan at 11:13 PM on April 17, 2006


How could something as miraculous as skin devouring hatchlings come about, if not for the loving oversight of an Intellegent Designer?
posted by maryh at 11:40 PM on April 17, 2006


mmmm foreskin dinner
posted by 29 at 11:49 PM on April 17, 2006


Banana slugs [unsettling video] are pretty weird too. They eat the penis after mating (sometimes each others and sometimes their own).
posted by tellurian at 12:09 AM on April 18, 2006


Hmmmm ... I imagine many mothers who have survived the teen years of their children can relate to this story.

I always considered the calcium depletion of pregnant mothers to be an example of how children 'nibble away' at their mothers from the very beginning. This little animal offers another interesting analogy.
posted by Surfurrus at 12:25 AM on April 18, 2006


Not so weird. The brown pelican does practically the same thing. It pulls off its feathers and lets its young drink its blood. In fact, this act of self sacrifice is depicted on the Louisiana state flag.
posted by ColdChef at 4:05 AM on April 18, 2006


Thia would be cooler if it was something more bear-like rather than worm-like but maybe next time.
posted by 517 at 4:07 AM on April 18, 2006


Not so weird. The brown pelican does practically the same thing.

ColdChef, that is a medieval myth.

Also, another weird little creature that superficially resemble cacelians is the amphisbaenid. They are not snakes or lizards but rather are in their own little branch of the reptiles.
posted by squink at 5:02 AM on April 18, 2006


YAY!
posted by beerbajay at 5:03 AM on April 18, 2006


I had to check under my chair to make sure none of these little buggers were down there, because that article freaked me out.
posted by OmieWise at 5:44 AM on April 18, 2006


Well thank the good Creative DesignerTM that we are not descended from these creatures! Breast feeding was painful enough.

"Teeth like grappling hooks," ugh. (Do I smell a horror movie plotline?)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:42 AM on April 18, 2006


Dear god, that gave me the screaming willies all over.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:03 AM on April 18, 2006


Too true, Secret Life of Gravy.
I don't expect we'll see these babies on Cute Overload anytime soon.
posted by maryh at 8:03 AM on April 18, 2006


I will certainly think twice about dating a woman named Cecilia from now on. At the least I'll bring body armour along.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:19 AM on April 18, 2006


Metafilter users: feed on the womb-like oviduct of their mothers.
posted by lalochezia at 8:36 AM on April 18, 2006


(Do I smell a horror movie plotline?)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:42 AM PST


I suggest Cronenberg's The Brood.
posted by tula at 8:54 AM on April 18, 2006


Very disturbing. But yet still not as disturbing as the mating practice of the anglerfish.
posted by evilangela at 1:02 AM CST on April 18


Wow. The worm thing was a little yuck, but the anglerfish... the male essentially becomes nothing more than an empty shell.
posted by ninjew at 9:28 AM on April 18, 2006


Cecelia, you're eating my heart,
you're sucking the flesh from my bones, babe,
Oh Cecelia, I'm done on my knees,
I'm begging you please to stop now,
Awwww...



with grave apologies to Paul Simon
posted by five fresh fish at 10:43 AM on April 18, 2006


[fixed the fff multiple post thing]
posted by jessamyn at 11:18 AM on April 18, 2006


I don't expect we'll see these babies on Cute Overload anytime soon.

No doubt! I would love to make a site called Gross Ocerload. All caecilians and anglerfish all the time!
posted by Afroblanco at 1:00 PM on April 18, 2006


well there is uglyoverload.com
posted by puke & cry at 1:23 PM on April 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


That's AWESOME!

(bookmarked)
posted by Afroblanco at 2:34 PM on April 18, 2006


yeah, I like the naked mole-rat. Someone should fpp that site.
posted by puke & cry at 4:17 PM on April 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


You know, I love that picture. It's like the mole-rat knows that it's ugly. He's just hanging out, saying, "Yeah, I'm ugly. I'm a mole rat! What the hell do you want?"
posted by Afroblanco at 6:10 PM on April 18, 2006


I don't see how it's that unusual or gross. Most (all?) lizards and salamanders eat their own skin when they shed. These guys just share the love.
posted by obvious at 1:22 PM on April 19, 2006


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