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Fetal Maintenance and Its Evolutionary Significance in the Amphibia: Gymnophiona

Marvalee H. Wake
Journal of Herpetology
Vol. 11, No. 4 (Oct. 31, 1977), pp. 379-386
DOI: 10.2307/1562719
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1562719
Page Count: 8
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Fetal Maintenance and Its Evolutionary Significance in the Amphibia: Gymnophiona
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Abstract

The oviducts of several species of caecilians are modified for maintenance of fetal development through metamorphosis. Nutrition is provided by secretions from epithelial cells of the duct. Nutritional demands on the parent are great. It is concluded that the species-specific fetal dentition is functional in obtaining nutrition in the oviduct, in contrast to previous suggestions. This mode of viviparity is found in members of three of the four families of caecilians.

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