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Sirens and Dwarf Sirens: Sirenidae - Behavior And Reproduction

Animal Life ResourceAmphibiansSirens and Dwarf Sirens: Sirenidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Lesser Siren (siren Intermedia): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, DWARF SIRENS SIRENS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS


Sirens and dwarf sirens hide in burrows near the water's edge during daylight hours and come out at night to look for food along the water bottom and among plants. These salamanders swim by making wavy movements of their body and tail, but they also move their small legs in walking motions when they are near the bottom.

To find food, sirens and dwarf sirens poke around with their snouts and find prey using their sense of smell. They suck food into their mouth by rapidly expanding their throat and opening the mouth so that the food is sucked inside with a rush of water. Gill rakers keep the food inside the throat, and the water passes to the outside through gill slits. Sirens and dwarf sirens are greedy eaters. They shake their prey vigorously and swallow larger animals in a series of gulps without breaking the prey into pieces.

Even though they look like larvae, adult sirens and dwarf sirens have reproductive organs and produce young. Scientists do not know how fertilization (FUR-teh-lih-ZAY-shun), or the joining of egg and sperm to start development, takes place in these salamanders. They believe it happens outside the body because males do not have glands for making a sperm packet, and females do not have a sac for sperm storage. The large eggs are laid singly, sometimes attached to plants, or in groups.

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