Concentrated at the head and extending the length of the body, the creature emits a mucous-like lubricant that enables it to quickly dive underground to escape predators.

At the tail, caecilians have glands armed with a toxin, able to act as a last line of chemical defence by blocking a hastily burrowed tunnel from hungry hunters.

Professor Brodie added: “What we didn’t know is these caecilians have tiny fluid-filled glands in the upper and lower jaw, with long ducts that open at the base of each of their spoon-shaped teeth.”

His research colleague Pedro Luiz Mailho-Fontana, noticed the never-before-described oral glands.



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