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Feb 27 2012

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Cutest baby animals ever

(via NatGeo)

(Also on Sb)

25 comments

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  1. 1
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Bleeech.

  2. 2
    Glen Davidson

    I’ve always wanted to hear the slither-slather of little pinks in the house.

    Glen Davidson

  3. 3
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Get those mother******* caecilians off the mother******* plane NOW!

  4. 4
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Awww! Lookit them all little and pink and awwww.

  5. 5
    Therrin

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

  6. 6
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    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.

  7. 7
    Sili

    How do they taste?

  8. 8
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

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

  9. 9
    llewelly

    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.)

  10. 10
    JohnnieCanuck

    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.

  11. 11
    Aratina Cage

    Bleeech.

    Seconded!

  12. 12
    scrawnykayaker

    Well, someone’s lost their marbles.

  13. 13
    AshPlant

    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.

  14. 14
    catdog

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

    I read that as testicles. *facepalm*

    That said, bleeuurrgh.

  15. 15
    matthewschnetter

    Those things are gross, tell them I hate them.

  16. 16
    unbound

    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…

  17. 17
    AshPlant

    I read that as testicles.

    I have gradually come to terms with my testicles.

  18. 18
    w00dview

    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:

  19. 19
    David Marjanović

    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.

  20. 20
    VikingWarriorPrincess

    Caecilians!
    I’ve dissected a few and they are truly fascinating.

  21. 21
    David Utidjian

    They look like they might taste like bacon if prepared properly. Yummy.

  22. 22
    Tualha

    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.”

  23. 23
    ericpaulsen

    Wow. I have never seen a picture of baby Slinkys™ before. Thanks PZ.

  24. 24
    w00dview

    @ 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!

  25. 25
    tim rowledge, Ersatz Haderach

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

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