• Legless amphibians.
  • Caecilians (pronounced seh-SILL-yens) are tropical amphibians that look like large worms or slick snakes.
  • They have no arms or legs, and sometimes it’s hard to tell which end is the head and which is the tail! Their shiny skin is ringed with skin folds called annuli.
  • Caecilians usually come in shades of gray, brown, black, orange, or yellow.
  • Some species have tiny, fishlike scales within the rings.
  • At home in dirt or water. Most caecilians are burrowers, living in a network of tunnels underground.
  • A hard, thick, pointy skull helps these amphibians dig in soft dirt.
  • Because of their underground lifestyle, caecilians have little need to see or hear.
  • So, their eyes are tiny in some species or hidden under the skin or skull in other species, making just gray bumps for eyes.
  • Some South American species spend their lives in water instead of on land.
  • Caecilians don’t have ear openings, so it is doubtful they can hear sounds the way we do. Scientists have found that an organ in their ear picks up vibrations from the ground to help them detect predators and prey. Caecilians also use their sensitive tentacles.
  • These are between the nostrils and the eyes and help caecilians find food or their way around.