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Species of the Week:
Herpele squalostoma

Amphibian News
For the first time, the auditory apparatus of caecilians, a largely fossorial group of amphibians, has been examined and compared with other animals. Maddin and Sherratt (2014) hypothesized that caecilians would have similar inner ear morphology, specifically semicircular canals that maximise sensitivity to correspondingly complex physical stimuli, as other animals which demonstrate spatially complex behaviours like living underground and navigating in three-dimensions. Their comparative work within amphibians showed that caecilians and frogs had similar curved canals but caecilians had the largest sacculus of all amphibians (enlarged saccule had been noted in earlier studies) among other differences. Taken together, the inner ear of caecilians shows unique adaptations to fossoriality like increased sensitivity to ground-borne vibrations and degeneration of airborne sound detection.

Current number of amphibian species: 7,317 (Sep 18, 2014) Newly added species