Salamanders are a group of amphibians typically characterized by a lizard-like appearance, with slender bodies, short limbs, and the presence of a tail in both larvae and adults. Learn more about these incredible critters.
First the Stats…
Weight: Chinese giant salamander: 55 – 66 lbs
Length: Chinese giant salamander: 3.8 ft., Cope’s giant salamander: 4.9 – 7.5 in.
Now on to the Facts!
1.) The name Salamander comes from the Greek word for Fire Lizard!
2.) Salamanders are nocturnal.
3.) Salamanders vary in size. Minute salamander is the smallest salamander, reaching only 1.1 inches in length. Chinese giant salamander is the largest salamander, reaching over 5 feet in length.
4.) Some salamander species can be poisonous and some even have teeth.
5.) Salamanders are carnivores, which means they eat meat instead of vegetation. They prefer other slow-moving prey, such as worms, slugs and snails. Some larger types eat fish, small crustaceans and insects. Some salamanders eat frogs, mice and even other salamanders.
6.) All salamanders lay eggs, with one exception. The fire salamander has live offspring and gives birth to 10 to 30 young at one time. Depending on the species, other salamanders lay up to 450 eggs at a time.
But wait, there’s more!
7.) Salamander’s skin is highly sensitive to environmental pollution because toxins easily pass the skin and reach inner organs.
By tracking the number of salamanders in the wild, scientists can estimate whether environment is healthy or not. If there is a large population of salamanders that means that environment is clean, and vice versa.
Did you know…
These animals are capable of autotomy, which can be described as self amputation done by an animal, as a part of its self-defense mechanism. They try to divert the attention of the predator by dropping their tails, that wiggle around.
8.) Axolotls will develop missing limb or tail in the next couple of weeks due to their amazing ability to regenerate body parts, even vital organs and parts of their brains. See the video below for more info…
9.) Salamanders breathe using the lungs, gills or their skin, depending on their life style (water or land). Aquatic forms have gills located behind their head, as a bushy mass. Animals which breathe by skin have a dense capillary network in the skin, which is used for the gas exchange.
10.) Salamanders can live very long period of time. Chinese giant salamander can live up to 55 years.