... the first question they asked was, "How can a salamander lay all those eggs?".
For now, let's just say that the jiggling jelly layers are doing their jobs.
As I mentioned in my last post, there is more going on in those egg masses than jiggles and wiggles. The embryos are not actually wiggling yet, but they do move. Their motion could be described as a slow, but graceful circling around inside the egg. I timed some embryo's rotations, and a full circle took about four minutes. This turning is accomplished by cilia created currents, not by muscular action. The embryos are almost constantly gliding around like clock hands. What an amazing thing to watch!
I took these next three pictures over a span of a minute or so, to illustrate the embryo's rotation.
... and round
... and round we go.
That's what I call the jelly dance.
There will be even more to admire about the eggs in my next post.
More to explore:
- Read more on rotating salamander embryos in an article entitled, Notes on the Ciliation of the Ectoderm of the Amphibian Embryo
- a paper on respiration in frog egg masses that discuses the role of the ciliated epithelium, etc.