Friday, April 14, 2006

4 Weeks Left Before Mother's Day

So, it's none too soon to shop for a Mom who might not last that long:

A worm-like amphibian has been found in Kenya that loves her offspring so much that she turns her skin into a nourishing feast to give them the best possible start in life.

Brooding mothers of Boulengerula taitanus transform their outer layer of skin into a fat-rich offering, not dissimilar in its nutrient content to milk, according to a team from the Natural History Museum, London, led by Dr Mark Wilkinson.

His colleague, Dr Alexander Kupfer, filmed the young of this species grazing on their mother's hide with specialised teeth.

A mother allowing babies to peel and eat her own skin is a strategy for feeding her young that has never been witnessed before, the team concludes today in the journal Nature.

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