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Chinese Giant Salamander

by Leyi

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Chinese Giant Salamanders
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Robbie Wu
50,000 may sound like a huge number, but when you´ŕe talking about the amount of chinese giant salamanders left on earth, that´s not very big. As a matter of fact, that´s so small, they may go extinct around the next 2-3 decades! There used to be more, but their population has dived down by 80 percent over the last couple of decades due to water pollution and other variables. So, what are these creatures like? Let´s dive in and find out more about them!

BODY LENGTH: A chinese giant salamander´s tail is half it´s body length! Talk about a long tail!
long tail!
DID YOU KNOW?
The largest non-extinct amphibian is the chinese giant salamander!
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Andrias Davidianus
When most people think of salamanders, they often think of the small little critters, 4-6 inches long. And most salamanders are that small. But the chinese giant salamanders(Scientific name: Andrias davidianus) can grow bigger than that even when they´re still larvae! They can grow up to 6 feet in length! That´s just a little less than a dolphin! However they are decreasing in size. Now, the average chinese giant salamander´s size is, according to the book, ¨Chinese Giant Salamanders¨, 3.8 feet and 50 pounds. 
These carnivores, when born, have yellow sacs in their underbellies, have outer gills, like fish have, and are about an inch in length.
BODY LENGTH: A chinese giant salamander´s tail is half it´s body length! Talk about a long tail!
long tail!
DID YOU KNOW?
The largest non-extinct amphibian is the chinese giant salamander!
These carnivores, when born, have yellow sacs in their underbellies, have outer gills, like fish have, and are about an inch in length.
These yellow sacs provide them with a rich source of food until they are old enough to hunt, and when they are 8-9 inches long, they start to lose their external gills.
According to mongabay.com, they reach sexual maturity when they are 15 years old. 

According to the book, ¨The World´s Biggest Amphibian¨, female chinese giant salamanders lay 350-500 eggs at a time. And instead of the traditional internal fertilizing of eggs, chinese giant salamanders externally fertilize their eggs. How? Well, the female lays the eggs while the male releases sperm over them. 
According to the book, ¨The World´s Biggest Amphibian¨, female chinese giant salamanders lay 350-500 eggs at a time. And instead of the traditional internal fertilizing of eggs, chinese giant salamanders externally fertilize their eggs. How? Well, the female lays the eggs while the male releases sperm over them. 
The eggs by themselves are 0.3 inches in diameter, but with the protective jelly around them, they are 0.8 inches in diameter.
Where do chinese giant salamanders live? According to animals.sandiegozoo.org, they live in rough mountain rivers and large streams in south and south-west China. They spend nearly their entire lives underwater, only going above to hunt prey near the edges of rivers. 

During the 2-3 months it takes for these eggs to hatch, the male watches over the eggs, and then, viola! Baby salamanders are born!
Rounded Rectangle
WHAT SCIENTISTS THINK: Scientists think that many chinese giant salamanders are devoured by predators before they are fully grown.
A chinese giant salamander in it´s natural habitat
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