Monday, January 5, 2015

Red Salamander - Lungless Tritons

The red salamander, also called the red triton, is one of many species that make up the Plethodontidae family. These particular members are lungless tritons, as they have no lungs and they breathe through their skin! Yeah, that sounds sort of weird, eh? A certain number of the plethodontids live permanently in the water, but most live on land. The red salamander can be found in humid areas among the moss, dead leaves of the undergrowth, etc. They usually emerge at night and generally avoid the light of day, which makes them a little harder to spot. They are sensitive to dehydration and they will die if they stay out in the sun very long. Upon reaching adulthood, they loose their gills without them being replaced with lungs. The particular texture of their skin and the interior of the buccal cavity (vestibule of the mouth) allows this odd creature to breathe without lungs or gills. Anyway, I just thought I'd share these tidbits today. Mother Nature has so many interesting creatures out there with various types of unique traits. I like to read about them on occasions...

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