Peculiar Feeding of Amphiuma under Conditions of Enforced Starvation

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Science  25 Dec 1959:
Vol. 130, Issue 3391, pp. 1758-1759
DOI: 10.1126/science.130.3391.1758


Two Amphiuma means confined in aquaria with flowing artesian water for 3 years, with no known supply of food, increased in size. In the latter part of this period they were observed to shed a sheet of skin by a peculiar process and to devour it. This shed skin contained bacteria of the spirilla type, diatoms, and large amounts of unicellular algae, and possibly other organisms. Similar behavior in unstarved specimens of Cryptobranchus confined in an aquarium at the University of Alabama has been observed by E. L. Bishop.