Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spotted Salamander

What a lovely find on a cold damp afternoon.  The Spotted Salamanders is so big.  This one was about 6 inches.  Wikipedia calls them "stout."

Wikipedia also says, "Spotted salamanders are fossorial, meaning they spend most of their time underground. They rarely come above ground, except after a rain or for foraging and breeding. During the winter, they hibernate underground, and are not seen again until breeding season in early March–May. Ambystoma maculatum has several methods of defense, including hiding in burrows or leaf litter, autotomy of the tail, and a toxic milky liquid it excretes when perturbed. This secretion comes from large poison glands around the back and neck. If a predator of the spotted salamander manages to dismember a part of a leg, tail, or even parts of the brain/head, then it can grow back a new one, although this takes a massive amount of energy. The spotted salamander, like other salamanders, shows great regenerative abilities, even being able to regenerate limbs and parts of organs.[5
Georgia (the friend to amphibians) was way ahead of us on the walk so I carried this specimen to her and it felt so sweet and quiet in my hands.  Her wide apart eyes give him a sweet face.  Georgia was thrilled and carried her gently around until we passed the spot where we had found her again where Georgia placed her down in the leaf litter again and she continued on her way..

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