Caecilians Teacher’s Questions

Caecilians Teacher’s Questions


Before reading:

  1. Name two kinds of amphibians. What makes these types of animals different from reptiles, birds and mammals?

During reading:

  1. Describe three unusual features of caecilians.
  2. List two ways that caecilians differ from one of their lookalikes, snakes. List two ways that caecilians differ from another lookalike, worms.
  3. What type of environments do caecilians live in?
  4. Give two reasons why scientists know so little about caecilians.
  5. List at least three physical characteristics of caecilians that help them excel at burrowing.
  6. Describe how a coiled set of tendons in caecilians helps to propel the animal forward while burrowing.
  7. Describe how caecilians capture prey. Why do scientists think caecilians use this method?
  8. Describe the odd eating habits of a recently hatched baby caecilian.
  9. Describe the odd eating habits of a caecilian inside its mother’s oviduct.
  10. How do scientists think that lungless caecilians breathe air?
  11. What is the size range of caecilians?
  12. What threats are reducing amphibian populations? How are these threats affecting caecilian species?

After reading:

  1. Describe how these descriptions of caecilians changed the way you think about amphibians.


  1. How do unusual species like caecilians and platypuses challenge the way we classify, or group, animals?
  2. It costs money to send scientists to far-off places to study the life history of little-known animals and plants. Do you think this is a good use of money? Explain your answer, giving at least three reasons.
  3. What happens when animals go extinct — or their populations crash to very low numbers? Explain why biologists are so concerned that amphibians be counted and studied before they disappear.