Saturday, February 09, 2008

Extreme motherhood

One of the strangest meal-times in the animal kingdom has been caught on film by a BBC crew. The team recorded footage of a female worm-like amphibian, called a caecilian, allowing her young to peel off and eat her skin.
Scientists have only recently discovered this bizarre parental behaviour. The female caecilian's skin becomes thicker and more nutrient-rich when she bears offspring. And the young have specialised teeth for tearing and removing it. The footage was recorded for the BBC One series Life In Cold Blood. The crew was able to catch this behaviour on camera by building a set which resembled the shallow, humid underground chambers that the creatures live in. It took several attempts to capture the footage; the caecilian babies would only eat their mother's skin for about 10 minutes, once every three days, and often at night.

"Yummy mummy" filmed feeding young her skin
One of the strangest meal-times in the animal kingdom

No comments:

Post a Comment