Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Amphisbaenia

Families classified within this suborder:


Feel free to supersede this wu.

Amphisbaenia

Amphisbaenians, also called "worm lizards", are little-known burrowing reptiles that typically have no legs. Their tails resemble their heads, giving them a somewhat two-headed appearance.

Amphisbaenia is a suborder of reptiles within the order Squamata, which also includes lizards and snakes. Like their amphibian counterparts the caecilians (order Gymnophiona), amphisbaenians are adapted to a fossorial niche. They burrow and are carnivorous, eating insects, worms, and in captivity many eat small rodents.

Their skulls contain more bone tissue than those of lizards, and their eyes are often small or absent. The left lung is larger than the right (asymmetry in the lungs is a point of anatomy they share with the snakes and caecilians), and their bodies appear segmented like earthworms, as the scales form rings called annuli. The amphisbaenians are all limbless with the exception of the family Bipedidae, whose members have small front limbs. Amphisbaenians are typically red or pink.

Amphisbaenians are found in tropical areas in Central and South America, Africa, and parts of Europe and Asia. They are almost never to be seen in the pet trade or in zoos. Sadly, they are rarely studied and little is known about them.


References and further reading:
http://www.nafcon.dircon.co.uk/amphisb1.html
photo: http://www.angelfire.com/mo2/animals1/reptile/amphisbaena.html
http://listproc.ucdavis.edu/archives/herp-l/log0011/0000.html
http://museum.nhm.uga.edu/gawildlife/reptiles/squamata/amphisbaenia.html
diagrams: http://www.curator.org/LegacyVMNH/WebOfLife/Kingdom/P_Chordata/ClassReptilia/O_

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