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Giant Salamander

December 13, 2021

The giant salamander is a sizable amphibious animal resembling a lizard. True to their name, giant salamanders grow to reach between 12 and 70 inches. The weight of an adult giant salamander can reach a whopping 130 pounds. There are different types of giant salamanders in the world. The Chinese giant salamander, Hellbender salamander, and the Japanese Giant Salamander are all categorized as giant salamanders.

All three types of giant salamanders have varying skin colors, although they primarily feature hues of brown and grey colored skin. Like any other amphibians, they spend a lot of their time in and around water bodies.

Fun Facts

  • Skin secretions: Giant Salamanders secrete toxins as a form of defense mechanism when threatened. These secretions often look whitish and smell like pepper to us.
  • The flat function: Their shape is also a defense mechanism that allows them to hide in tiny cracks. They can also wedge themselves under rocks for better cover. Their dorsoventrally flattened body shape is one way to identify a giant salamander.
  • Poor Eyesight: Giant salamanders do not use their eyesight to catch their food. It might seem odd considering that most of them live in clear water. Instead of their poor vision, giant salamanders use pores around their mouths to sense movement around them.
  • Giant salamanders prefer to live in a water body with flowing water.
  • They prefer clear water to murky water and need rocks to hide and camouflage.
  • Unlike other types of salamanders, the giant salamander never leaves the water.


  1. Angel Collier

    I love learning about different animals

  2. Allen Cartee

    Yes I saw one in the Davidson River in the Piegan National Forest many years ago. At that time, I had no knowledge of them. They are magnificent.

  3. Allen Cartee

    Opps Pisgah National Forest. above Brevard, NC

  4. Wanda M Padilla

    To Whom It May Concern:
    It would be interesting to learn what diet these giant Salamanders eat?


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