Thursday 2 February 2012

Eastern Tiger Salamander

Image: J. N. Stuart via Flickr
Do you remember the Axolotl? Well check out their close relative, the Eastern Tiger Salamander! Doesn't he look grown up?

Adult Tiger Salamanders are completely land living. They have a wide range across the eastern half of North America, but you might not see them because they spend their time in underground burrows they dig for themselves. They are a kind of Mole Salamander, after all!

Image: utahmatz via Flickr
Baby Tiger Salamanders are aquatic and have gills and a tail fin to let them do all the stuff they have to do. Eat, basically.

Image: utahmatz via Flickr
They get bigger and bigger.

Image: utahmatz via Flickr
And they look just like an Axolotl! It's just that the Axolotl looks like that for all its life, while the Tiger Salamander will eventually metamorphose into an adult.

In can take months or years for them to reach adulthood, depending on temperature and the like. Some will metamorphose as soon as possible, making small, terrestrial adults in cold areas or where water bodies dry up every season.

Tiger Salamanders in warmer areas do their growth as larvae and will transition into adulthood when they reach around 20 cm (8 in) long.

There are even some populations of Tiger Salamander that don't metamorphose at all, just like the Axolotl! They tend to get even bigger than a normal adult. Amphibians just don't have the kind of rules we do.

Image: Wikipedia
I'm fairly sure there's a population that grows some kind of hair, too.


Anonymous said...

No wonder the Axolotl doesn't want to grow up, when these "tiger" salamander adults look like frogs!

Joseph JG said...

Haha! So it's a tiger that's a kind of mole that's a kind of salamander that looks like a frog. Maybe the Axolotl is confused from these mixed messages?

TexWisGirl said...

LOL!!! glad i had already finished my coffee this morning or i might have spewed it!

Joseph JG said...

Haha! I'm glad you escaped it, I don't think either the salamander or I would want to be responsible for that!

RWS said...

I never realized that Bernie look like a Salamander

Joseph JG said...

Neither did I, but as I saw that salamander I just couldn't get Ernie out of my head!