Friday, July 9, 2010

Weird Creatures Born At The Tennessee Aquarium


They're squiggly, wiggly and pretty weird-looking animals. Some visitors mistake them for eels or water snakes, but actually aquatic caecilians are amphibians.
Three new baby aquatic caecilians were born in the Rainforest Pond tank in Rivers of the World Gallery at the Tennessee Aquarium, and there is at least one more baby on the way. According to senior herpetologist Bill Hughes, the babies are born with large gills that are shed almost immediately. Hughes says the young still bear indications of these frilly gills, "In the picture of the newborn, things to notice are the sensory tentacle (white object next to the nare) and the area on the neck where the gill was attached."
The babies will be left on exhibit for a few weeks.

The second picture is the underside of one of the babies heads, with the mother visible in the background.

Hughes adds, "Taking pictures of squirmy things underwater is not easy so I apologize for the picture quality."
The pictures look fine Bill! Anyone who'd like to see a caecilian being born might want to check out this video.


7 comments:

Liza said...

Fantastic video! I love learning about new animals, especially when they are so strange. How many caecilians live at the Tennessee Aquarium?

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