I am officially disgusted with Alain de Botton »« Holy christ, but the Discovery Institute is full of morons

Comments

  1. Therrin says

    That would be awesome to stick in a vending machine. Kid puts in a quarter, turns the knob, surprise!

  2. says

    Blind, legless amphibians. I saw one from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) when I was in university–something like a fat earthworm but dryer. They have their own order and this is a new family (in the taxonomic sense).

    My cats would love them: strings that pull themselves.

  3. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    Awww, they are all pink and cuddly like itty bitty baby kittehz!

  4. llewelly says

    It is a remarkable example of rough parallels in evolution – they look like vermiform invertebrates, but they’re tetrapods. (Also, while most caecillians can barely distinguish light from dark, I seem to recall a few do have well-developed eyes, and that was probably the ancestral condition.)

  5. JohnnieCanuck says

    Interestingly, as one of the NatGeo slide captions points out; they emerge from the eggs in adult form with no tadpole stage. Another thing that makes these unusual amphibians.

  6. AshPlant says

    Gleeaagh! Something about that pushes the ‘wrong!’ button deep in my soul. I think it’s related to my fear of tentacles. They look like they’re coiled with massive potential energy, ready to strike like glutinous springs. Yuk.

  7. catdog says

    > I think it’s related to my fear of tentacles.

    I read that as testicles. *facepalm*

    That said, bleeuurrgh.

  8. unbound says

    Like every other animal, they look all cute and cuddly now, but wait until they grow up and start eating you out of house and home…

  9. w00dview says

    These are really unusual amphibians in many ways: blind; legless; no tadpole stage and most species live entirely underground. They seem to be good parents also as the mother grows a layer of skin rich in fats that the young can feed off of. They have small hooked teeth which they use to tear off bits of skin which the mother grows back in three days.

    Attenborough covered this strange behaviour here:

  10. David Marjanović says

    Look at their gills! :-)

    How do they taste?

    I don’t know, like frog?

    These are really unusual amphibians in many ways: blind; legless; no tadpole stage and most species live entirely underground. They seem to be good parents also as the mother grows a layer of skin rich in fats that the young can feed off of. They have small hooked teeth which they use to tear off bits of skin which the mother grows back in three days.

    Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. That’s one species, and not the one shown in the post. There are also species that don’t even lay eggs, but the young grow up in the oviduct and eat the oviduct lining; and there are other species that lay eggs which hatch into unspectacular aquatic larvae that later undergo unspectacular metamorphosis.

    There are about 200 known species of caecilians.

  11. Tualha says

    Great lines from an SF novel, Wyrm:

    “So, what looks like a worm and acts like a worm, but isn’t a worm?”

    “A caecilian!”

    “No ethnic slurs, please.”

  12. w00dview says

    @ David Marjanović
    Fair enough. I should have checked to see if that behaviour was more widespread or not. Making sweeping generalisations about any group of organisms is a risky move as nature will often prove you wrong. I work with fish for goodness sakes so I should not fall into this trap!

  13. tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach says

    Who’s a cute widdle baby Chthulhu den – cutey-wutey. You is! Dat’s who!