Feeding ecology and diet

Because amphisbaenians are fossorial, little is known of their behavior or ecology. Most species feed primarily on small arthropods, such as termites and beetle larvae. However, laboratory studies suggest that captive trogonophids are capable of preying on much bigger animals by biting off pieces from the prey animal, and their skull anatomy and dentition seem to support this ability. However, direct examination of stomach contents and field studies are rare for trogonophids, and what they actually eat in the wild is not known.

For trogonophids, chemical and auditory cues are the most important means used in locating prey. The uniquely adapted middle ear system allows prey movements to be detected, while the forked tongue and the Jacobson's organ allow the detection of chemical odors. Airborne sounds are picked up and transmitted to the inner ear along the specialized extracol-umellar apparatus, which may also amplify the vibrations as well. This unique anatomy is consistent with behavioral studies conducted in laboratory experiments, which suggest that amphisbaenians can hear prey movements through the soil.

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