Chikilidae: New family of legless amphibians discovered in India (Photo)

By on Feb 22, 2012 in Animals, Asia, Science Comments

A new family of legless amphibians was recently discovered in India, as shown in the photo below, after researchers spent more than five years of digging through forest beds in the rain.

According to The Hindu on Wednesday, February 22, 2012, the newly discovered family of legless amphibians is called Chikilidae and the new genus as Chikila, with the name based on the Northeast Indian tribal language of Garo.

As noted in the report, the research, which was also published at in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B on Tuesday, was made by S.D. Biju of University of Delhi and his team, with the worm-like animals notably found at 238 different locations.

“We also found that Chikilidae is a radiation of multiple species as yet unknown to science.” S.D. Biju was quoted in the report, noting that the legless amphibians were found in northeast States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and West Bengal.

Meanwhile, Live Science noted that these animals are living in underground burrows, with the slimy pink young ones emerging from their eggs as miniature adults, with the mother coiling around the eggs 2 to 3 months until they are hatch.

Nevertheless, these creatures were said to be part of a group of animals called caecilians and could be mistaken as huge earthworms; but are actually vertebrates with backbones and more like salamanders or frogs.

Legless amphibians called Chikilidae
Image Credit: S.D. Biju/AP

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