Rubber eel Facts

Rubber eel Facts
Rubber eel is worm-like creature that belongs to the group of legless amphibians. There are 155 known species of rubber eel that can be found in Asia, Africa, South America and New Zealand (aquatic species can be found only in South America). These animals appeared on the planet few million years ago. They haven't changed much since that time. Majority of rubber eels inhabit humid subtropical and tropical areas. Terrestrial species can be found in savannas, scrublands and flooded lowland grasslands, while aquatic species reside in the rivers with rocky or gravelly bottoms. Thanks to their unusual appearance and low maintenance, rubber eels are kept as house pets in the aquariums around the world. Despite over-collecting from the wild, rubber eels are still numerous and widespread in their native habitats.
Interesting Rubber eel Facts:
Most species of rubber eels can reach around 20 inches in length.
Rubber eel has smooth skin that can be grey, green or black colored.
Rubber eel has elongated body covered with folds of skin arranged in the ring-shaped segments. Segmented body and lack of legs are responsible for the worm-like appearance of rubber eels. Females occasionally develop bumps on the skin. Rubber eels have strong jaws filled with sharp teeth. Freshwater species have laterally compressed end of the body to facilitate swimming.
Rubber eels are rarely encountered in the wild because they spend most of their life in the soil or mud (depending on the species and its life style). Muscular body and strong skull facilitate burrowing into the substrate.
Rubber eel breathes through the skin. Aquatic species swim to the surface of the water to breathe fresh air.
Rubber eel is nocturnal creature (active during the night).
Rubber eels have small eyes covered with skin, which makes these animals practically blind. Scientific name of these group of amphibians is "Caecilian". Name originates from the Latin worm "ceacus" which means "blind" (due to their poor eyesight).
Rubber eels use pair of tentacles (located between the eyes) and well developed sense of smell to detect their prey.
Rubber eels are carnivores (meat-eaters). Their diet is based on earthworms, bloodworms, small fish and insects.
Rubber eels are gregarious animals. Captive animals gladly gather in groups.
Rubber eels discard their skin during the periods of intense growth. Shed skin is thin and transparent.
Some species of rubber eels produce toxins in their skin to repel predators.
Rubber eel gives birth to 3 to 7 live babies after gestation of 7 months. Babies are fully developed at birth and born with large, external gills. Since rubber eel does not breathe via gills, they are shed shortly after birth.
Young rubber eels grow quickly and reach half the length of adult animals after one year.
Rubber eel can survive 5 to 20 years in the wild, depending on the species.

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