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Giant Salamander

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Matilda Cruz
Matilda double majored in zoology and animal behavior at the University of Hawaii. She’s been an animal lover from a young age and knew she wanted to study them even more for her career. She’s always looking for ways to spread her animal knowledge.

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.
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