A salamander looks so much like a lizard and yet is quite different in characteristics. Here are some interesting facts on salamanders.

Salamander Facts

A salamander is an amphibian which falls under the animal order Caudata. A typical salamander is characterized by a short nose, a long tail and a slim body. The normal eye may look upon a salamander as another form of lizard; however there are some basic differences in the physical structures of a salamander and a lizard. A salamander is longer in size when compared to a lizard. Moreover, a salamander’s body scales are smooth and glossy as compared to the course skin of lizards. Also, a salamander is always found in and around water bodies, while lizards are typically terrestrial creatures. Like all amphibians, a salamander too has two pairs of limbs. But unlike all amphibians, they have four toes each on the front limbs while the hind limbs show five toes each. Male and female salamanders are usually characterized by very bright skin colors, though some of them may not even show any color due to lack of essential skin pigments. Read on for more interesting facts on salamanders.
Interesting Facts About Salamanders
  • If you assumed all salamanders to have same respiratory organ, you are in for a surprise. While some breathe through lungs, others take in air through gills. The difference is essentially between terrestrial and aquatic salamanders respectively. Again, the gills of many salamanders are visible externally as formations on the sides of their heads.
  • Some salamanders have neither lungs nor gills to breathe through. In this case they breathe in and out of their skins, a process which is known as valerian respiration.
  • Capillary beds are present all over the epidermis layer of the skins of these salamanders who do not possess either lungs or gills. And it is through these capillary beds that the air exchange takes place. 
  • Each spotted salamander has a unique pattern of spots. Some only have a couple of spots, but most have two uneven rows of yellow-orange spots.
  • While most salamanders show bright skin colors and are usually spotted, there are some salamanders who are white or pink in color. The light colored salamanders always remain underground or in dark caves. The lack of sunlight leads to less production of pigments which lend color to the skin.
  • Salamanders secrete a kind of mucus from their skins. This helps to keep the skins of terrestrial varieties moist and act as a lubricant in the case of aquatic salamanders. Salamanders also shed their skins and later consume the shed skin.
  • Salamanders practice autotomy for self defense. This is a process in which the amphibians shed their tails and wriggle off to escape their predator, also making the predator confused at the same time.
  • Salamander can regenerate its own limbs within a few weeks of losing it because of its ability to regenerate complex tissues in its body.
  • Salamanders feed on worm and other insects. The terrestrial varieties of salamanders have tongues similar to that of frogs which shoot out of the mouth whenever a prey is in sight. The aquatic salamanders, however, do not have the muscles required for shooting the tongue out. They have teeth instead, which aid in capturing and consuming prey.
  • Different species of salamanders come in different sizes. While some may be quite small, others may extend as long as two meters in length. These salamanders weigh as much as 65 kgs. The longest salamander, the giant salamander, is also the largest amphibian.
  • Unlike the previous notion that a salamander is a dangerous creature, many are adopting salamanders as pets. Salamanders can indeed be domesticated at home.  
Did you know that the largest number of salamanders are found in southeastern US? These were some of the fascinating and interesting facts about salamanders.  

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