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Abstract

Caecilians (Order Gymnophiona) are limbless, elongate, burrowing or swimming amphibians that inhabit the tropics of most of the world. Their reproductive biology includes several modes. In contrast to other amphibians, probably the majority of caecilians are direct developers (laying eggs on land, with metamorphosis before “hatching,” thereby circumventing the larval period) or are viviparous (providing maternal nutrition to the intra-oviductally developing young after the yolk is exhausted and giving birth to fully metamorphosed young). In fact, viviparity is the predominant reproductive mode, with apparently more than half of the species worldwide retaining developing young and nourishing them through a lengthy gestation period (Wake 1977a, 1977b, 1982). However, even such basic information as reproductive mode is not known for a number of the 170 described species and can only be inferred.

Keywords

Parental Care Reproductive Biology Reproductive Mode Larval Period Maternal Nutrition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marvalee H. Wake

There are no affiliations available

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