Discovered: New Family of Limbless Amphibians

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.

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Proceedings of the Royal Society B

BBC News


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Any breeding program yet?

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.