Scientists Discover New Legless Amphibians

Scientists Discover New Legless Amphibians

Just as I write about the demise of one amphibian species, I discover that a brand new type of legless amphibian was found in India. The caecilians are unique branch of the amphibian family that on the surface look more like worms than frogs or toads.

Scientists took more than 250 soil samples in almost every part of India to find the animals and even then they had to look at the animals on a molecular level to decide if they were a new species. The amphibians definitely look creepy and am pretty sure wouldn’t win the cutest pet contest.

The animals live underground or under dead and dying leaves, making them difficult to spot. Their habitats are threatened by continued growth in the human population and slash and burn farming. This is farming where they tear down and burn part of a forest area to make room for a farm field.

Scientists believe this species split off from its closest relatives more than 140 million years ago. They are a unique animal when it comes to reproduction. The mother stays with the eggs for about three months without eating at all during that period.

It’s not often that a new amphibian species comes to light, but I am glad we were able to find out about them before their extinction. Who knows how many animals have come and gone on this Earth without is knowing anything about them. They may look like worms, but these legless amphibians make up a unique part of the Earth’s animal population.