The new Caecilian has settled in well

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Now that my tank has cycled properly, I have managed to successfully move the Caecilian into it. He is very active at the moment, scouting around his new home and looking for any possible escape routes he might have missed (Caecilians are amazing escape artists!).

Caecilians belong to the order Gymnophiona under the class Amphibia. Gymnophiona is the third order within the class Amphibia after Anura (frogs) and Caudata (Salamanders and Newts). Compared to the other orders, relatively little is known about Gymnophiona. This is because most Caecilians live underground and are therefore rarely seen. There are currently approximately 155-160 known species but due to the lack of detailed knowledge of these animals, this figure is probably inaccurate. In fact, only recently an entirely new family of Caecilians was discovered in India. Click this link for the BBC News article.

Caecilians are often referred to as eels, worms and even snakes which, although understandable because of the similarities they bear phenotypically, is completely wrong. They are simply amphibians that possess no legs.

As I mentioned in the previous post, my particular species is an aquatic one. It’s name is Typhlonectes natans and is originally from South America. The females give birth to live young (some Caecilians deposit eggs in which the young develop) which are just miniature versions of the adults. He is extremely inquisitive and spends a lot of his time exploring his new surroundings. He does possess teeth but is very pleasant and it is unlikely that he would bite. In fact he lives quite happily with a few fish and, so long as he is never left to go hungry, he will never eat these fish! His main diet consists of Earthworms and dead feeder fish. He currently measures approximately half a metre in length.

Although I appreciate this animal would not be everyone’s cup of tea, he is an absolutely fascinating creature to observe and I love the mystery that surrounds this group of animals. He makes a very welcome addition to my little family of amphibians!

If you have any questions on this group of animals please don’t hesitate to post a question. I’ll be more than happy to attempt to answer it for you!

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~ by Adam Johnson on April 1, 2012.

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