The Japanese Giant Salamander

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  • Amphibian
  • Large folds of skin along their flanks
  • Can grow up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) and weigh 55 pounds
  • Lives up to 50 years in captivity and over 60 years in the wild
  • Has hair-like sensory cells that detect the slightest vibrations in the environment
  • Extremely poor eyesight
  • Ranges in color from yellow-orange to brown with granite-like texture

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  • Diet - eats almost anything, from insects to fish or mice to small invertebrates like crabs
    • Can go for weeks without eating due to slow metabolism
  • Breeding - breeding season starts in August when many congregate at nesting sites
    • males compete viciously often causing many deaths due to injury
    • females lay 400 to 500 eggs often fertilized by many males which hatch during the spring

  • Dwells in cold, fast flowing mountain streams and rivers of northern Kyushu Island and western Honshu Island of Japan