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Chinese Giant Salamander-World's largest amphibian

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Description

Order: Caudata Family:
Cryptobranchidae Scientific
Name: Andrias davidianus
Length: 180 cm( 5.9 ft) Weight: 11 kg

      Having a long body and tail, the giant salamander has a flat head, wide mouth and perfectly round eyes with no eyelids. Its vomerine teeth (consisting of 2 bumps situated on the roof of its palate) allow the creature to easily snatch a hold on to the prey.

giant salamander,largest amphibian, vomerine teeth, aquatic creatures,prehistoric salamander,fossil

       The Chinese giant salamander has a rough skin texture which is covered in bumps. Because its skin is very moist, it permits the oxygen to enter and in return the body releases the carbon dioxide. Their color varies from a brown tone to greenish shades and some are even black with spots. 
      This amphibian does not have gills, so they breathe through the bumps and pores on their skin.  In 1726, the Swiss physician Johann Jakob Scheuchzer described a fossil as Homo diluvii testis (Latin: Evidence of a diluvian human), believing it to be the remains of a human being who drowned in the biblical flood. The Teylers Museum in Haarlem, Netherlands, bought the fossil in 1802, where it is still exhibited. In 1812, the fossil was examined by Georges Cuvier, who recognized that it was not human. After being identified as a salamander, it was renamed Salamandra scheuchzeri by Holl in 1831.  


chinese giant salamander

       Andrias scheuchzeri is an extinct species of giant salamander, which only is known from fossils. It lived from the Oligocene to the Pliocene. The fossil specimen found in 1726 by Johann Jakob Scheuchzer and initially assumed that it is a human /child remaining was renamed Salamandra scheuchzeri by Holl in 1831 after closer examination by Georges Cuvier, who recognized it definitively as not being human.  
       “More than anything else this one looks like a great big angry dick with stumpy little legs. They grow to be six feet long, eat just about anything, and if that wasn’t horrifying enough, the Chinese name for them is wawayu, meaning ‘baby fish’ - because they make a sound like a crying baby.” – (http://www.tumblr.com/)

 

Habitat
       They can be found in various streams and lakes in China, like the Yangtze and Pearl. They enjoy the cold streams, but like to hide in caves.

 

Diet
Because they are nocturnal creatures, they prefer to hunt at night. Their diet consists of all kinds of critters such as: worms, crayfish, various types of insects and frogs. They don’t even have to feed daily, because they have a slow metabolism.



chinease salamander  

Breeding
       They move upstream to start the mating process between the months of August and September. The female lays the eggs (around 500 eggs) in burrows and the male fertilizes them. Its aggressive temper is what keeps the eggs safe from harm. The eggs will hatch after 50 to 60 days and the larvae measure just 3 cm in their early stages. They start to ingest food after 1 month.

 

Interesting Facts
• It is the largest amphibian in the world
• They can live up to 50 years or more
• Did you know that when the salamander wants to make a capture he must rely on his smell and touch?
• Measures have been taken to protect this species and with the help of 14 nature reserves, the Chinese giant salamander is being protected from the various external threats 
• Mount Wuyi-China is one of the areas that has been built with the purpose of preserving this species and its habitat
• The giant salamander is known to vocalize, making barking, whining, hissing, or crying sounds. The vocalizations that this creature makes often resembles that of an infant’s cry
• Chinese giant salamanders can be found also for sale in Chinese. The price can be as 880 CNY/jin, or about 215 EUR/kg or $US280/kg.
• Did you know that just 1 kg of this amphibian’s meat can cost up to 350 dollars?
• Curious to see this creature with your own eyes? You can visit Atlanta Zoo or Cincinnati Zoo in the USA, or go to Europe to Dresden or Rotterdam Zoo.
• An interesting fact about this salamander is that its skin is highly sensitive and it can immediately sense any vibrations or movements
• The difference between the Japanese Giant Salamander and Chinese one is the tubercles on the head and throat are displayed differently.
• The Japanese giant salamander is one of the largest of its kind in the world: a mottled, slimy, living fossil that has changed little in millions of years.

 

On the verge of extinction 

      The pollution is merely one factor that is causing the Chinese giant salamander to lose its habitat. Deforestation and the construction of dams alongside the rivers is another cause. Another reason that is putting these aquatic creatures under a constant threat is hunting. Giant Chinese Salamander is considered a royal feast and is served in many dishes all over China.  
       Did you know that the Chinese salamander has made it to the list of Critically Endangered IUCN Red List of Threatened Species? The good part is that measures have been taken and breeding farms have been designed in provinces all over China to ensure the preservation of this species.

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Sources
http://www.arkive.org/chinese-giant-salamander/andrias-davidianus/
http://www.edgeofexistence.org/amphibians/species_info.php?id=547
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_giant_salamander
http://www.earthsendangered.com/profile-413.html
http://www.strangeanimals.info/2010/10/chinese-giant-salamander.html
http://legacy.earlham.edu/~pendemi/giantsalamander.htm
http://www.tumblr.com/search/giant%20salamander
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrias_scheuchzeri
http://research.amnh.org/vz/herpetology/amphibia/Amphibia/Caudata/Salamandridae/Salamandrininae
Pics
http://www.tumblr.com/search/giant%20salamander
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/14/Andrias_Scheuchzeri_Oeningen.jpg/1280px-Andrias_Scheuchzeri_Oeningen.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/2009_Andrias_davidianus.JPG http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/26/Japanese_Giant_Salamander_Stuffed_Specimen.jpg
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