Won’t Lose Her Marbles. Photograph courtesy S.D. Biju.
A previously unknown caecilian from India watches over her clutch of eggs in the lab of University of Delhi amphibian biologist Sathyabhama Das Biju. Biju and his team were surprised to discover that females of this newly named species, Chikila fulleri, remained protectively coiled around their developing offspring for up to three months. “The mother is guarding the eggs for almost 95 days without eating anything,” Biju said. “Always the mother is with her eggs.” Such levels of maternal care are rarely seen in amphibians, the study team noted.