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Published on Dec 30, 2013
On December 12, 2013 eight Kaup's caecilians were born on exhibit at the Sedgwick County Zoo during operating hours. The births are believed to be the first captive reproduction of this poorly known and virtually unstudied species.
The pinkish youngsters were born with large, sac-like gills which quickly detached from their bodies during the birthing process. Unlike the gills of other amphibians, the gills of Kaup's caecilians are thought to serve a placenta-like function while in the mother's body and are not used for respiration after birth.
Caecilians are by far the least familiar group of amphibians for zoo visitors. Ranging throughout the tropics of the Americas, Africa, and Asia, most caecilians are blind and live entirely underground. However, a few Amazonian species are aquatic, such as the Kaup's caecilian.