Caecilians look like worms, but they're actually amphibians. Like most other animals, they're born hungry. And they have quite possibly the grossest feeding system in the entire world.


Caecilians are popular pets for people with a high tolerance for things that look like worms roaming around their house. The limbless amphibians are, some biologists believe, part of the same subclass that gave rise to salamanders and frogs. Above, you see what looks like the gruesome death of a Boulengerula taitanus. Smaller caecilians, her own babies, are ripping pieces off of her.

Actually, the little tykes are doing- exactly what they're supposed to, and the mother is just fine. After laying her eggs, this caecilian grows a special, nutrient-rich skin. When the babies hatch, they rip the skin off of her as their first meal. The whole family naps for seven days afterwards, during which the mother grows a new skin so her offspring can do it all over again.


[Via New Scientist, Why Dogs Eat Poop.]

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