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Salamanders And Newts: Caudata

Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Salamanders, Newts, And PeopleGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS

Almost all salamanders live in the Northern Hemisphere. One species even lives north of the Arctic Circle. Only a few species of salamanders live south of the equator, and those live in North and South America as far south as Bolivia.


Adult salamanders eat spiders, insects, worms, crustaceans such as crayfish, mollusks such as slugs and snails, fish and fish eggs, tadpoles, other salamanders, and even small rodents. Crustaceans (krus-TAY-shuns) are water-dwelling animals that have jointed legs and a hard shell but no backbone. Mollusks (MAH-lusks) are animals with a soft, unsegmented body that may or may not have a shell.


The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists two species of salamanders as Extinct, forty-six as Critically Endangered, 105 as Endangered, eighty-one as Vulnerable, and fifty-six as Near Threatened. Extinct means no longer in existence. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists six species of salamanders and newts as Endangered and five as Threatened.


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Bernhard, Emery. Salamanders. New York: Holiday House, 1995.

Lawlor, Elizabeth P. Discover Nature in Water and Wetlands. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole, 2000.

Llamas Ruiz, Andres. Reptiles and Amphibians: Birth and Growth. New York: Sterling, 1996.

Petranka, J. W. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998.


Web sites:

Hawes, Ales. "On Waterdogs, Mudpuppies, and the Occasional Hellbender." Zoogoer. http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Publications/ZooGoer/2000/2/waterdogsmudpuppieshellbender.cfm (accessed on March 28, 2005).

"Order Caudata (Salamanders)." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/classification/Caudata.html (accessed on March 28, 2005).

"Order Caudata: Salamanders." Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/narcam/idguide/index.htm#ambystom (accessed on March 28, 2005).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceAmphibians