|Image: Sean Michael Rovito|
Like a Hollywood camera looking at a leg in a stocking, we're slowly casting our eye down the full, glistening length of Worm Salamanders. There are about 30 species of them, all contained within the genus Oedipina.
But no matter how long they are when you measure them, they're always proportionally very long.
|Image: Joe Townsend|
Their legs are the teensiest little things you can imagine, while their tails might be twice as long as the rest of their body. This is why they're called Worm Salamanders. Although at least one or two people are pleased to call them Slimenoodles. It pleases me, too!
Slimenoodles live in Central America and down into parts of South America, where they rummage and slither around in the dampness of leaf litter and the darkness beneath logs in the forest.
|Image: Adriano Spiccia|
They do have a top quality wriggle, though. When harassed by predators they'll coil and flip, secrete nasty substances and generally throw a tantrum. Their tail might even fall off as a distraction. The horror! It'll grow back eventually, but it must take ages for a tail like that.
|Image: Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad - INBio, Costa Rica|
Speaking of which, Worm Salamanders differ from many other salamanders in that they have no tadpole stage. Their eggs hatch into miniature Slimenoodles, already graced with enormously long tails. As I say, their noodliness is unsurpassed.