image source:
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Habitat: originally discovered in Argentina, and has been reported to exist in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela
Status: Least Concern
You might thing this looks like some kind of mutant worm or slimy snake, but in reality it’s simply a caecilian – an amphibian that superficially does resemble those creatures but is actually entirely different from them.
This particular species is the Ringed Caecilian (Siphonops annulatus) and like other caecilians it spends most of its time burrowing around underground. Ok now for the totally crazy part: when momma caecilians have their nestlings with them their favorite food just so happens to be… skin. Momma caecilian skin. That’s right, when the babies are hungry they start feasting on their mother’s outer layer of skin for a full seven minutes then they take a break for three days while she regrows the layer (girl’s gotta have skin, right)? This phenomenon is known as maternal dermatophagy.
Interesting creature, huh? I love it’s super weird grin in the first pic!