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Chinese Giant Salamander( Andrias davidianus)

Habitat: reside in mountain streams in-between el. 200 to 1500 m, where the water is rapid, clear and where there are many cracks and holes on rocks.

Feeding habits: it won't attack positively to get its food; instead, it will open its mouth to wait for its prey to enter its mouth. It likes to eat fish, crabs, frogs, snakes and other aquatic animals.

Features: the largest specie of all amphibians with a total body length of 1.8-2.0 m and a weight of 20-25 kg. During the mating season, it often cries. Its crying sound is like that of a baby, therefore, common people often call it "baby fish". It has a big head, on which there are apparent grains. Chinese giant salamander has a large mouth, but its eyes and nostril are very small. Its tail is flat and its skin is soft and smooth. Normally, its skin color is brown and it has no scales at all. Its four limbs are short and fat. Its mating season is from June to August each year, and it lays its eggs on rocks. It accepts sperm outside and young salamanders will be hatched out within 21 days naturally. Young salamanders grow very slowly.

Category: Amphibia, Urodela, Cryptobranchidae

Distribution: in mountain streams of Northeast and Southeast Yunnan. Another 17 provinces of China.

Protection level: since its flesh is delicious, it incurs wanton over killing. The number of giant salamanders is reducing in all original habitats and it even becomes distinct in some places. It has been listed as Class II state protection animal and in Appendix I of CITES.




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