Mother Worm Lets Baby Worms Eat Her Flesh!

How far would you go to feed your children? For the mother worm Boulengerula taitanus, the answer is: pretty darn far - they would let the baby worm eat their flesh!

The mothers of Boulengerula taitanus create a nutrient-rich fatty outer layer of skin after laying their eggs. When their offspring hatch, the babies scrape this layer off with specialized teeth. ...

The researchers brought the burrowing animal into the lab to investigate, videoing 21 mothers with broods of between two and nine young. In the week after their babies hatched, mothers lost about one-seventh of their bodyweight - which showed up as skin cells in the stomachs of young. ...

As to why the mothers let themselves be flayed, Wilkinson suggests that making a fatty layer of skin may be cheaper for the mother than giving her eggs a large yolk. And if a baby dies, he notes, the mother's investment in the egg is wasted - but she might be able to save her skin and use it again.

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How is this any different than breast-feeding? Women suffer significant weight loss and require additional calories while breast feeding babies. Isn't that as inherently weird? And then add to that,= the fact that most societies consume the lactose of other animals! Weird.
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