Page last updated at 23:15 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 00:15 UK

'Alien-like' tadpole feed frenzy


"Alien-like" scenes of tadpoles feasting on eggs emerging from their mother have been caught on camera.

The footage was recorded at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, in Jersey, and marks the success of a captive breeding programme for the critically endangered mountain chicken frog, which is one of the world's largest frogs.

Because mountain chickens create their foamy nests in burrows underground, food is limited for the tadpoles.

So the frogs have come up with a clever solution - females feed their offspring their unfertilised eggs.

However, the video reveals that the tadpoles start feeding on the eggs as soon as they pop out of their mother's body rather than waiting for them to drop to the bottom of the nest as was previously thought.


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