When we talk about Amphibians, most people seem to know The Order ANURA (frogs and toads) and the Order CAUDATA (salamanders). There is a 3rd group of amphibians, the Order GYMNOPHIONA (caecilians). The caecilians are legless, and usually fossorial (living underground, but a few are aquatic). They are only found in the tropical regions of the world; in Central and South America, Africa, and SE Asia. They have small calcite scales embedded in the skin, which is unique to this group amongst the amphibians.
Icthyophis kohtaoensis (SE Asia)
The tentacles aid in smell and touch
I. kohtaoensis tail tip
Gegenophis mhadeiensis (India)
Dermophis sp. (Central America)
Siphonops annulatus (South America)
Typhlonectes natans (aquatic)
T. natans up close
Even Typhlonectes possess lungs. Only
a few species are lungless.
Mother with eggs
Embryo up close
Mother with young
The development and care of young of most
caecilian species is not well understood. They
are rarely seen animals in the wild because
of their fossorial habits.
Check out this video of a mother caring for her young, as they feed on the dead outer layers of her skin! This is a recent discovery by scientists.