The salamander is an amphibian, which belongs to the group of tailed amphibians, the family of Newts. There are 45 species of salamanders living in Eurasia, North America and Africa. Among the salamanders there are terrestrial species – actually salamanders, but there are water species, called tritons.
The body length of salamanders is 10-28 centimeters. They live in damp shady forests, on the banks of mountain rivers and streams, rising to a height of 3000 meters. They lead a nocturnal and twilight way of life. They feed on salamanders with small invertebrates, such as slugs, worms, insects.
The salamanders breed in different ways. In species inhabiting the water, the male lays the spermatophore, which the female captures with a cloaca. Larvae develop in the water.
There are egg-living and viviparous species among salamanders. The female of such a salamander carries several tens of developing eggs in her body for almost 10 months, and then puts them in water. Still about 3 months the larvae continue to develop in water and turn into adult salamanders. Alpine salamander gives birth to only two offspring, who develop in the mother’s body for 2-3 years and are born completely. Salamanders become capable of reproduction in 4 years.
Sometimes salamanders are called representatives of other families of tailed amphibians. For example, the pulmonary salamanders that live in America and Southern Europe. These animals lost their lungs and breathed through the skin.
Many of them climb trees.
The poison of a salamander is dangerous to humans and can lead to blindness!
The life span of these animals is 10 years and more.
Salamanders are also called representatives of the family latent-branched. These include the largest modern amphibian – a giant salamander. These animals reach 1.8 meters in length, weigh up to 65 kilograms. They live in East China, Japan and North America. Continually live in rivers and mountain streams, and feed on fish, amphibians and invertebrates. They live sometimes up to 55 years of age.