12 Stories

There's a Creature That Didn't Move for 2,569 Days

Researchers studied the olm over 8 years

(Newser) - There's a kind of cave-dwelling salamander that a Hungarian scientist describes to the New Scientist as "hanging around, doing almost nothing." But "almost" might be a little too generous. A team led by Gergely Balazs of Eotvos Lorand University studied a group of olms found in... More »

In Vermont, Drivers Asked to Let Frogs Cross the Road

Frogs, salamanders active on spring nights, vulnerable to vehicular slaughter

(Newser) - It's that time of the year in which the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is warning motorists to drive with caution, but not because of weather: Rather, it's the seasonal migrations of frogs and salamanders, reports the AP . "Frogs and salamanders become active on rainy spring... More »

Rare 'Dragon' Babies Hatch in Slovenian Cave

It's a' rare opportunity for science'

(Newser) - After keeping a constant eye on a clutch of eggs from a rare, subterranean salamander, biologists at Postojna Cave in Slovenia have their reward. Two baby olms have hatched—something that has never been seen outside of a lab, the Christian Science Monitor reports. It's a "rare opportunity... More »

Zoo Says It's Got Earth's Longest Salamander

Oh, you know, just a normal 5-foot-2 amphibian

(Newser) - Prague Zoo says it likely has the longest Chinese giant salamander now on Earth. The critically endangered animal is the largest amphibian on the planet. In a statement Sunday, the zoo says Karlo, a Chinese giant salamander it received 19 months ago from the State Museum of Natural History in... More »

Worried Scientists: Stop Salamander Imports Now

Fast-spreading fungus could be devastating

(Newser) - US scientists have been keeping a worried eye on a fast-spreading fungus overseas that proves devastating to salamanders, and yesterday in Science they issued a plea to the federal government: Stop the imports of salamanders immediately. The stakes are about much more than pet store sales, explains LiveScience : North America... More »

Biologist to New England: Slow Down, Think Frog

Amphibians' vital trek is running late

(Newser) - Northern New England's annual amphibian migration is always perilous, but critters that cross roads to breed are facing an additional challenge this year: a delayed start after the long winter. Every spring, several species of salamanders and frogs travel to vernal pools —temporary bodies of water created by... More »

Our Salamanders May Be in Trouble

Scientists cite Asian fungus, lack of biosecurity

(Newser) - When a fungus that has coexisted with amphibians in Asia for 30 million years recently found its way to the Netherlands, only 10 fire salamanders managed to escape death there. The fungus eats the skin, and that tends to prove fatal because amphibians perform much of their respiration through their... More »

Salamanders Get Help Crossing the Road

To mate! With some help from human friends

(Newser) - Salamanders are getting an assist this mating season from volunteers who shepherd them across dangerous highways, the AP reports. Hundreds try to cross between forests and vernal pools this time of year, and human escorts—also known as bucket brigades—have popped up along the East Coast to keep them... More »

'Water Monster' About to Die Off

Mexican salamander suffers in polluted canals and lagoons

(Newser) - Mexico’s “water monster"—a mere foot long but once central to the Aztec legend and diet—is close to dying out, the AP reports. Axolotls have long endured in the polluted Venice-like canals of Lake Xochimilco in Mexico City, but baby-gobbling fish and ebbing water quality are... More »

Half of Europe's Frog Species May Croak

Habitat loss, climate change, disease likely to wipe out amphibian species

(Newser) - Half of all of Europe's amphibian species could be doomed to extinction within the next few decades, scientists warn. Habitat loss and climate change are already wiping out huge numbers of frogs, toads, newts and salamanders, the Independent reports. The situation has been exacerbated by a skin disease that has... More »

Powder Could Help Wounded Regrow Limbs

Substance extracted from pigs provides 'scaffold' for new tissue

(Newser) - Powder sprinkled on the wounded hand of an Iraq veteran might help him regrow a lost finger, CNN reports. The new therapy, taking a cue from the regenerative abilities of salamanders, uses a powder made from pig tissue to trick the body into using stem cells to attract other cells—... More »

Hybrid Lizards Muscle Out Mom and Dad

Discovery of new salamanders’ ‘vigor’ is a scientific first

(Newser) - The offspring of California tiger salamanders and barred tiger salamanders are living proof that not all hybrids are mule-style genetic dead ends: They’re breeding their parents out of house and home. In a watershed instance of "hybrid vigor" among animals, Science reports, the progeny of two species for... More »

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