Scolecomorphidae – Tropical caecilians
Also called buried-eyed caecilians due to their vestigial eyes, attached underneath the snout
One of the most robust amphibians alive, members of this family are found in Cameroon, Malawi, and Tanzania. They are small to medium-sized amphibians with a recessed mouth, a tentacle-like structure on the snout, and eyes attached to the base of the tentacles.
These amphibians have adapted well to burrowing and subterranean environments, preferring moist soil with high organic content. They eat small insects, worms, and other invertebrates found in soil and play an important role in soil ecosystem health.
They are tough creatures that can survive in the aridest environments due to their ability to absorb moisture from the air through specialized skin glands. They mix and aerate the soil and redistribute nutrients by tunneling, creating a hospitable environment for other organisms and playing a vital role in the ecosystem.