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Image: Proceedings of the Royal Society B

Dr. Biju and colleagues at the University of Delhi have discovered a new family of limbless caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) in northern India. Although these soil-dwelling animals look an awful lot like earthworms, genetic testing and comparative analyses of their cranial anatomy show that they are in fact an ancient lineage of amphibians that first appeared ~140 million years ago (early Cretaceous). Unfortunately, they are threatened by human expansion.

The San Diego Zoo has a neat website with more information on this order of amphibian.

If you are planning on attending Experimental Biology 2012, don’t forget to enter the contest to win a free Dr. Dolittle “What’s New in Comparative Physiology” t-shirt and try your chance at also winning free coffee at the meeting! To learn more, click here.

Sources:
Proceedings of the Royal Society B

BBC News

Comments

  1. #1 abithi
    March 5, 2012

    Could you please share me more images if u have..

  2. #2 Rob Jase
    March 7, 2012

    Any breeding program yet?

  3. #3 Dr. Dolittle
    March 7, 2012

    I have not come across any information on breeding programs for the newly discovered species.

    If you search for “caecilian” under Google Images, you will be able to see many pictures of similar animals that were known to exist prior to the discovery of this new family.

  4. #4 wedding dresses
    March 12, 2012

    They looks really really disgusting…