With such headlines as Man-aconda — the snake that looks like a penis (The Sun, natch), and references to it as a "trouser snake" or "floppy snake" might make you think the large, eyeless and limbless creature might actually be a snake. But it is not, it's a Ceacilian, a group of limbless amphibians with no or tiny eyes. But what's really impressive about this large creature is that is is lungless, despite residing in environments like muddy mangrove pools. A paper by Marinus Hoogmoed et al. (PDF, 22 pages, 2011) from Bol. Mus. Para. Emílio Goeldi. Cienc. Nat., Belém, describes several then-new specimens of Atretochoana eiselti from Brazil, which were compared to older preserved specimens that were kept with scant information. [more inside]
Limbless amphibian species found. [bbc.co.uk] A UK-Indian team of scientists have announced the discovery of a new species of limbless amphibian. The creature - about 168mm in length and pink in colour [image] - belongs to an enigmatic, limbless group of amphibians known as the caecilians [wiki].
"There is a parallel between what amphibian taxonomists do these days and what homicide detectives do. Both arrive at scenes of mayhem. Maybe they solve the crime, but they are powerless to undo it." A fungal plague is killing the world's amphibians. Hundreds of species are already gone. There is no vaccine and no cure. There is, however, an ark.
"Mountain chickens have very peculiar breeding habits" "Alien-like" scenes of tadpoles feasting on eggs emerging from their mother have been caught on camera. The footage marks the success of a captive breeding programme for the critically endangered mountain chicken frog, one of the world's largest frogs. (BBC) Not for the easily squicked.
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Two-hundred -and-forty million years ago, a recently-discovered amphibian hunted with a special feature: teeth in the roof of the mouth. [more inside]
A new study has found that 12 species of African frog have retractable claws. All twelve species are members of the Artholeptidae family, and should not be confused with the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). [more inside]
What do you do when you're a Panamanian golden frog and you need to let that certain special someone across the way know you're, um, interested? Sure, you could croak a few sweet nothings in her ear, but those rushing jungle streams can drown out even the most virile of frog voices. So, you... wave! Yeah, give her a little wave! A BBC film crew has captured footage of this rare (and, according to their article, now extinct) amphibian waving, fighting and mating. [NOTE: last link includes hot froggy ménage à trois. Surely NSFW!] [more inside]
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.
Yes! Gulp Your Food Down! Feast your eyes on snackist salamanders and this future classic: not a salamander, but a very strange suction-feeding tadpole. [Quicktime required. ]