200-Year-Old Giant Salamander Found Alive In Chinese Cave

Posted: Dec 17 2015, 4:33am CST | by , in Latest Science News


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200-Year-Old Giant Salamander Found Alive in Chinese Cave
CCTV News Video Screenshot
  • Rare Variety of Giant Salamander discovered in Chinese Grotto
  • According to People’s Daily Online

A rare variety of giant salamander has been discovered alive in a Chinese grotto.

A Chinese giant salamander with a length of 4 feet 7 inches was found lurking in a cave. It weighed about 104 pounds. The giant salamander existed in the region of Chongqing towards the southwest of China.

Some surmise that it may be 200 years old. But in captivity, most such salamanders are not known to survive for more than 50 years. This Chinese salamander is the biggest of its kind in the entire world and happens to be on the critically endangered list.

It moves in a lumbersome manner and has very weak eyesight. The nocturnal amphibian thrives in lakes and streams in various rocky regions of China. It is a threatened species due to the wearing out of its habitat, the dirtying of its milieu and its being used as a food source by several locals.

The fact that it makes its way to the dinner plate of so many hungry individuals means that it will always be hunted unless strict rules and regulations are laid down for its protection and conservation.

The curious creature has been shifted to a safe research facility, according to People’s Daily Online. It will be studied at this center of protection and rehabilitation.

This particular sample is not as large as they normally come. So you can well guess what a huge species this is. Termed the Andreas davidianus, it is the largest amphibian ever known to mankind.

The animal may even reach lengths of 6 feet. But this is rare and hardly the norm. It is furthermore hard to judge what age this giant salamander might reach in the wild.

In captivity it merely lives for 50 years. In the wild, it usually finds a secure and secluded cave and chills out and passes its time in relative obscurity.

The giant salamander minds its own business and may reach up to 200 years in its life span. Now that is longevity in the full sense of the word. Rather like the Galapagos Island Turtles which reach such ripe ages.

There are a few characteristics this giant salamander shows. First it pretty much does its own thing when left to its own devices. It is cool-minded and not very fiery in its behavioral repertoire. Its fingers are very gnarly in their nature (almost to the point of grotesqueness).

And its tail is so large that it almost looks like it is a separate head. The salamander had to be taken out of its natural context and shifted to a conservatory pool. This was for its own safety. That is because it might get hunted and eaten if left in the wild.

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