Salamandra salamandra, aka salamander in everyday life, is a sort of amphibians in close relationship with frogs and toads.Their primary living place is the northern hemisphere. They prefer areas close to ponds and lakes. Some salamanders live on the dry land, others in the water but most of them spend their lives both in the water and on the land. This is what being an amphibian involves. From the 500 known salamander species the vast majority is at high risk of becoming extinct because of pollution and loss of habitat.
Salamander Facts You Should Know
- Salamanders can have different size. The 1.1 inches long minute salamander is the smallest one, while Chinese giant salamander, with its length of 6 feet and 140 pounds, is the biggest salamander on Earth.
- Although salamanders look like lizards, there is a fundamental difference between them: salamanders have glossy, smooth skin.
- A salamander has four legs with four toes without claws in the front and five in the back. This makes it a typical amphibian.
- The salamander population shows the level of pollution. A small number of salamanders in an area is a sign of worry, as it indicates a high level of pollution. Salamanders are easily affected by pollution as their skin lets substances enter their bodies.
- The amount of pigment salamanders have determines their colouration. Some of them are vividly coloured, while others are less colourful.
- Colour is also an indication whether they are edible or not for predators. Those covered in bright colours are often poisonous, while the lighter ones like to hide underground.
- “Autotomy” is just another defense system every salamander has. It means they can get rid of a leg or the tail in order to get away from predators. The missing appendage is going to grow back within a few weeks.
- Salamanders can be identified based on the yellow spots’ “pattern” on their backs.
- As any amphibian, salamanders can breathe both in water and on dry land. They can breathe using their lungs, gills or threw their skin rich in capillaries. They have gills behind their heads.
- Salamanders’ main food source is insects and worms. Some of them have 10 times longer tongues than their bodies.
- Salamanders have a special mating ritual. The male does a unique water dancing. He sends pheromones by a special way of moving his tail and head. If the female decides to join him, it means she is willing to mate, too.
- Different salamander species lay a different number of eggs. This can vary from one egg to a few hundreds. Eggs are laid in the water and have no hard shell.
- Life expectancy of these amphibians is quite high. Chinese giant salamander, for instance, might live 55 years.