Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why would a land animal lose its lungs?

That's the question raised by this bizarre little amphibian. Its ancestors and its near relatives have lungs, but this newly discovered, wormlike cacaelian borrows around breathing through its skin, a method of respiration normally used only in aquatic environments. One scientist suggests the species "lost" its lungs through evolving a narrower body diameter that facilitated burrowing, but admitted that was only a guess.

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