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A Gift from Hurricane Isabel

While Isabel caused destruction in many areas, it brought a gift to Primo D'Agata of Berlin, Connecticut. "I thought it was hail and I said to my wife, 'Ginger, it's hailing,'" he says. "I went back to reading my paper and then I saw the things were still there and were not melting. I went out and saw hundred of these white things." They turned out to be eggs.

Robin Vinci writes in the New Britain Herald that the eggs are tiny?about the size of pearls. "They are white with what looks like eyes in the middle. They looked like salamanders or barley," D'Agata says. "Ginger picked one up and it was slimy."

He called local Animal Control officer Jan Lund, who came and gathered up some of the eggs. "We were told whatever the eggs were, they were not from Connecticut because nothing like that is hatching this time of year," D'Agata says. "They said it was brought in from Hurricane Isabel. He said they could be alligator eggs."

He decided to take some of them to Central Connecticut State University. "They didn't know what they were either," he says. "I joked that they could be aliens. They came from the sky with the rain and not the wind."

Biologist Ruth Rollin of CCSU says, "At this point we are still trying to determine what species it is. We have a couple of graduate students who have more experience researching it, but they still don't have a specific identification. It's unusual for eggs to be out of water. It does initially look like the egg of an amphibian such as a frog but we need to continue researching to see if that is correct."

When the weather cleared up, the eggs seemed to disintegrate and disappear. "I never saw anything like it in my whole life," D?Agata says. "It?s amazing. People on either side of my home do not have these eggs."

He saved some of them in a jar to see if they hatch. "They are probably dead, but I just want to see what happens," he says. "I want to know what they are."

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