What are Salamanders?

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A recent video of giant ancient salamanders living inside caves in southwest China has sparked awe and concern within the scientific community.

About Salamanders

  • A salamander is an amphibian with a slender body and a long tail.
  • They encompass approximately 500 species of amphibians.
  • Most salamanders look like a cross between a lizard and a frog. They have moist, smooth skin, like frogs, and long tails, like lizards.
  • Distribution:
    • Salamanders range in North America, Europe, Asia, the northern parts of South America, and North Africa. 
    • The highest population of this genus concentrates in the Appalachian Mountains in North America. Almost one-third of their global population lives in North America.
  • Habitat: They live in or near water or find shelter on moist ground and are typically found in brooks, creeks, ponds, and other moist locations, such as under rocks. 
  • Features:
    • Body: Their bodies are usually cylindrical in shape with almost flattened undersides. The body starts right after the head and is not separated by the neck.
    • They have triangular-shaped heads with a wide mouth and two eyes on the sides of their heads. 
    • Size: Their size varies with different species, ranging from 2.5 cm to 20 cm. The largest salamander in the world is the Chinese Giant Salamander, which can grow up to a length of 5 feet.
    • They are cold-blooded and their temperature changes with their habitat.
    • Regeneration: They are capable of regenerating lost limbs within a few weeks, including tails and toes, allowing them to survive attacks from predators.
    • They are nocturnal.
  • Some salamander species can be poisonous, and some even have teeth.

Q1) What are amphibians?

Amphibians are a class of cold-blooded vertebrates made up of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and caecilians (wormlike animals with poorly developed eyes). All amphibians spend part of their lives in water and part on land.Amphibians are found nearly all over the world. They are most common in hot, humid areas such as the tropics.

Source: Old video of giant ancient salamanders discovered in southwest China cave sparks conservation concerns