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Terms in this set (35)

-resemble earthworms & snakes
-mostly live hidden in the ground, making them the least familiar order of amphibians
-distributed in the tropics of south and central America, Africa, and southern Asia
-lack limbs
-tails are short or absent
-cloacae near ends of their bodies
-skin is smooth and usually dark-matte, but some have colorful skin
-inside the skin are calcite scales
-the skin has numerous ring-shaped folds, or annuli, that partially encircle the body, giving them a segmented appearance
-skin contains glands that secrete a toxin to deter predators
-vision is limited to dark-light perception & their anatomy is adapted for burrowing lifestyle
-strong skull, with pointed snout used to force their way through soil or mud
- in most species, the bones in the skull are reduced in # and fused together & the mouth is recessed under the head
-muscles adapted to pushing their way through the ground, with the skeleton & deep muscles acting as a piston inside the skin & outer muscles. This allows the animal to anchor its hind end in position and force the head forwards & then pull the rest of the body up to reach it in waves
-all but the most primitive caecilians- have 2 sets of muscles for closing the jaw, compared with the single pair found in other creatures (help keep the skull and jaw rigid)
-eyes small and covered by skin for protection
-they can swim eel-like in water; they have fleshy fin running along the rear section of their bodies, which enhances propulsion in water
-posses pair of tentacles located between eyes and nostrils (used for second olfactory capability in addition to the normal sense of smell based in the nose)
-except for two lungless species- all caecilians have lungs but also use their skin or mouths for oxygen absorption
-left lung is smaller then right (adaptation to body shape seen in snakes)