salamandra is the common name of the caudados (Caudata). Are some amphibians long-bodied, thin and that maintain their tail throughout their lives.

Its appearance is very similar to that of lizards (it is quickly differentiated by the absence of scales) but in reality they are more rationalized with the amphibian lizard, the newt.

Species

There are more than 695 living species of salamanders of different sizes and aspects. The smallest salamander is the newt and the largest is the salamander Gigante china (Andrias davidianus) that can reach 2 meters in length.

The following families are currently recognized: Ambystomatidae, Amphiumidae, Cryptobranchidae, Hynobiidae, Plethodontidae, Proteidae, Rhyacotritonidae, Salamandridae y Sirenidae.

There are three other families that are currently extinct that are: Batrachosauroididae, Karauridae Ivachnenko y Scapherpetontidae.

Common salamander
Common salamander

Features

The body is elongated, provided with pairs of short legs of the same length, although in some species they are very small or lacking. Their skulls are wide and flat with joined prietal bones and provided with curved teeth. The pelvic girdle is cartilaginous, lacking a dermal shoulder girdle. The larvae are very similar to adults, having teeth in both jaws. Unlike frogs, they lack a middle ear.

The skin secretes mucus to keep the animal moist when on land and regulates salt when in water. It also provides you with a necessary lubricant for swimming.

They also have the ability to secrete poisons through the glands in their skin.

The vast majority of species are brightly colored, especially males during the breeding season, which turns their skin a brighter and more intense color to attract the attention of females. The species that live underground have a white or pink color because they are not exposed to the sun's rays.

Triton
Triton

Habitat

Salamanders live in temperate climates. Most species of salamander are aquatic animals or semi-aquatic as they have permeable skin.

It is possible to find it in aquatic regions, wetlands or forests.

Distribution

Salamanders are found distributed in all the continents of the northern hemisphere with the exception of some species that are found in northern South America. One third of the species inhabit North America, with the majority concentrated in the Appalachian Mountains.

Food

Salamanders are carnivorous animals that feed mainly on small fish and insects.

Predators

The salamander is known for your ability to regenerate your lost limbs (similar to that used by newts and largaros) and in some species they are able to recover certain parts of their body.

This feature allows it to escape predators by allowing it to shed body parts when hunted.

Among its natural predators we find: fish, snakes and birds.

Reproduction

The salamander reproduces through two types of fertilization. The species belonging to the groups Sirenidae, Hynobiidae and Cryptobranchidae reproduce by external fertilization and the other groups have internal fertilization despite the lack of copulating males.

The young salamander before their adulthood, go through a larval stage, therefore they have gills that become lungs as they develop. In many species, adults retain characteristics of their larval stage, characteristics called pedomorphism. He axolotl is one of them.

State of conservation

Salamander populations have decreased dramatically due to the high levels of fungi present in the water. It is unknown if this is the main cause of the decrease in salamander populations, although it is also thought that contamination levels have also played a role.

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