Hellbenders A Great Part of the Salamander Family

Joshua/ May 25, 2016/ Articles

Some people love their newts, sirens and salamanders: I must admit that I am not one of them. Your traditional witch’s spell recipe calls for ‘eye of newt’; so your witch is fairly familiar with one part of the amphibian family. These slimy creatures can breathe on land and in water; and some ­­­­­­salamanders grow to incredible sizes. The Chinese giant salamander can grow up to 1.8m long and weigh around 50kg; that is a lot of slimy creature to consider. They call them hellbenders because people used to only discover them inside burning logs during a fire.

Hellbenders A Great Part of the Salamander Family

Yes, the salamander is a shy creature, not one to draw too much attention to himself or herself. And sex and gender are often in a pretty pickle with these cucumber like slimies. Salamandroidea is an internally fertilising salamander, and it produces a shapely sperm package (spermatophe); the perfect anniversary or engagement present. This sperm package is then picked up by the female’s cloaca (do you know where your wife’s cloaca is located?). The male gets the female into the right position by way of his dorsally projecting spike at the base of his tail (sounds sort of familiar) and gets himself under her (girls on top stuff) and inserts his spike into her cloaca. She then absorbs the spermatophore’s sperm-filled cap (evolution has obviously tried a few reproductive ideas with a common theme, I reckon).

So, there is a vast array of salamanders, some with legs and some with not, some really big and some really small. Salamanders come in just about every colour under the rainbow and then some. Pink and penis like, spotted and ribbed like an exotic condom, lizard like with yellow G-stripes, dark newts, sirens like long thick eels with teeth, Asian giant salamanders like some pre-historic creature from our dim past, and slimy slug-like creatures with a penchant for not doing much. There are around 655 recognised living salamander species; so plenty of types of salamanders for all tastes and inclinations. The Australian Community Of Greens (ACM Group) is a community of Axolotl lovers, which is the only species of salamander allowed in Australia.

Some of their biological and behavioural features include: prehensile tails, beaks, tree-climbing, defensive spikes, intra-uterine cannibalism, tail shedding under duress, neoteny, nuptial dancing, cave-dwelling, exotic warning displays, bizarre digital development and purely aquatic salamanders. The complete fruit salad, you would have to say. Hellbenders a great part of the salamander family for sure. As long as you like slimy.



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