Monday, April 16, 2012

Japanese Giant Salamander

This is one salamander we wouldn't want as a pet. The Japanese Giant Salamander is the second largest salamander in the world, growing up to five feet in length and weighing 80 pounds! And when bred in captivity, it can live a very long time - one giant salamander at the Amsterdam Zoo lived to be 52!

The giant salamander is a nocturnal animal, and completely aquatic. It has extremely poor eyesight and uses special sensory cells, which cover its entire body, to detect vibrations in its environment. It relies on these cells when hunting for insects, frogs, freshwater crabs and fish. The giant salamander is slow moving, but that's OK since it doesn't have many natural predators. When it does need to fight off an attack, it uses its long tail and powerful teeth.

The Japanese Giant Salamander is considered a bit of a relic of an animal. It's appearance has hardly changed in 20 million years, and ancient Japanese folklore tells tales of the giant salamander. Festivals and parades are held its honor each year.

Learn more about the Japanese Giant Salamander by watching this video from National Geographic!

No comments: