Nature

This photo of ‘not marbles’ is probably the strangest thing you’ll see all day

We know what you’re thinking: why am I looking at a weird handful of pink marbles in a patch of mud?

Because it’s a lot cooler than that.

Although these little see-through balls really do seem to be marbles upon first glance, they’re actually the eggs of a legless amphibian that belongs to the Chikilidae family.

These animals are quite fascinating. In adult form, they look a lot like worms or perhaps naked snakes, despite having a spine and being more closely related to salamanders.

Chikilidae do have eyes, but their eyesight is extremely limited, and they spend most of their time underground.

But their eggs are where they really shine. The females brood with the eggs for 2-3 months, and researchers think the adults don’t even feed during this important time.

ChikilidaeEggsNanoMama(Kamei et al., Proc Biol Sci, 2012)

By the way, when the little caecilians finally hatch, there’s no larval stage – like frogs tend to have with tadpoles. Instead, they emerge as small adults and off they go to make their own families.

If you want to read more about these weird little creatures, the researchers, from the University of Delhi published a paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences back in 2012.

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