Five years ago the Netherlands was home to a small but healthy population of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra terrestris). That is no longer the case.
They have robust skulls, big teeth, they reach a reasonable size and they're restricted (today) to northwestern North America. They're the Pacific giant salamanders...
Sirens build nests, have beaks, eat plants and have a history of "size shuffling"--they're incredible!
The presence in Europe of plethodontids is unusual enough (albeit well known), but a major surprise in plethodontid research was the discovery of an Asian member of the group, the Korean crevice salamander Karsenia koreana Min et al., 2005. Plethodontid expert David Wake described its finding as “the most stunning discovery in the field of herpetology during my lifetime”...
While on a family holiday recently I visited Dan yr Ogof, the famous National Show Cave for Wales. Besides being interesting for the expected geological and speleological reasons, Dan yr Ogof is set within landscaped gardens that, bizarrely, feature one of Europe's largest `dinosaur parks'.
I know the newts of my country… but that’s not hard, there are only three (or four if you count the alien one). The Palmate newt Lissotriton helveticus is Britain’s smallest species (reaching 95 mm in total length), though it’s not the smallest of all European newts, being exceeded by the 80 mm Italian newt L.
I must have said that one of my aims here at Tet Zoo is to write about obscure amphibian species that rarely get covered elsewhere. The main thing stopping or slowing this plan concerns the availability of images – good, available pictures showing the species concerned are often not availability. Anyway, through the good graces of Jonathan Kolby, I here present an image of the extremely rare tropical American plethodontid salamander Nototriton brodiei of Guatemala and Honduras. The animal is known from less than ten specimens.
Nonstandard Ideas in Amphibian Evolution, Part 2: Salamanders and Caecilians Evolved Independently of all other tetrapods
Might it be that salamanders (and caecilians) are not close kin of frogs, that they evolved wholly independently of all other tetrapods?
Tet Zoo loves amphibians* (that’s anurans, salamanders, caecilians and their close relatives), and since 2008 I’ve been making a concerted effort to get through all the amphibian groups of the world.
Four years ago 41 hellbender salamander larvae from western New York State arrived at their temporary home in New York City. Originally collected as eggs near the Allegheny River, the hellbenders—also known as snot otters or devil dogs—were hatched at the Buffalo Zoo and then transferred to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, where they [...]
Sirens—long-bodied, aquatic salamanders—are weird. But are they really so weird that they might not be salamanders at all? It's a radical idea that has at least been considered