Amphibian Feeds Young Its Own Flesh

Researchers recently discovered a most unusual parenting method in Boulengerula Taitanus, a blind, worm-like amphibian called a caecilian. It feeds its young by letting them tear off its own skin with hooked white teeth. Scientists say this behavior has never been witnessed in any land-based animal.

Unlike most caecilians, B. Taitanus lays eggs. The skin of the female parent actually becomes thicker and nutrient rich when the eggs are about to hatch, preparing a delicious meal for her cuddly worm-lizard babies. Apparently in live-bearing caecilians, the fetuses feed on the womb-like oviduct of their mothers.

Mother and ravenous babies, straight from Caecilian, Boulengerula Taitanus

Perhaps most disturbing, researchers suggested that B. Taitanus' parenting behavior may shed light on the evolution of nursing behavior (lactation) in mammals.

Close up of baby tooth. The caecilian tooth fairy is, coincidentally, also the larval stage from Alien.

Now this is a baby video.


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