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Caecilians: Gymnophiona

Physical Characteristics, Geographic Range, Diet, Behavior And ReproductionHABITAT, CAECILIANS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS

Some caecilians live in moist soil that is rich in decayed plant matter. They also live in leaf litter and sometimes even in the lower parts of plants. Other caecilians live in water all or most of the time.

Caecilians eat insects that are harmful to people. The burrowing movements of land-dwelling caecilians turn soil and thus keep it in good condition.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists one species of caecilians as Endangered and three species as Vulnerable. Endangered means facing very high risk of extinction in the wild. Vulnerable means facing high risk of extinction in the wild.



Duellman, William E., and Linda Trueb. Biology of Amphibians. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.

Lamar, William W. The World's Most Spectacular Reptiles and Amphibians. Tampa, FL: World, 1997.

Lawlor, Elizabeth P. Discover Nature in Water and Wetlands. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2000.

Llamas Ruiz, Andres. Reptiles and Amphibians: Birth and Growth. New York: Sterling, 1996.

Petranka, J. W. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998.

Web sites:

"Caecilian." Animal Bytes. http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t-caecilian.html (accessed on April 11, 2005).

Hawes, Alex. "On Waterdogs, Mudpuppies, and the Occasional Hellbender." Zoogoer. http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Publications/ZooGoer/2000/2/waterdogsmudpuppieshellbender.cfm (accessed on April 11, 2005).

Summers, Adam. "Squeeze Play." Natural History. http://biomechanics.bio.uci.edu/_html/nh_biomech/caecilian/caecilian.htm (accessed on April 11, 2005).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceAmphibians