Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tiger Salamander

True Wild Life | Tiger Salamander | The tiger salamander is a small species of salamander, found inhabiting wetland habitats across North America. The tiger salamander can be easily distinguished from other species of salamander by the dark-coloured markings on the skin of the tiger salamander. An adult tiger salamander is rarely seen out in the open as they spend their lives in burrows about half a meter into the ground. Most adult tiger salamanders live in their burrows on the land, only returning to the water to mate.

The tiger salamander is green, black, brown or grey in colour and has blotchy markings on its skin. The tiger salamander also has sturdy legs and a long tail, all of which the tiger salamander is able to regrow should these limbs become lost or damaged. The tiger salamander is a carnivorous amphibian mainly hunting worms, insects and spiders that crawl into its burrow. Adult tiger salamanders are also known to hunt much larger animals such as baby mice and small frogs.

Due to the small size and ground-dwelling nature of the tiger salamander, the tiger salamander has numerous natural predators where it lives in North America. Raccoons, coatis and river turtles are the most common predators of the tiger salamander, along with birds and large reptiles. Most tiger salamander individuals will only get the chance to breed just once in their up to 15 years lifetime. The larvae of the tiger salamander are aquatic which means that the female tiger salamander lays her eggs in the water, generally on either a log or leaves close to the bottom of the water.

The eggs of the tiger salamander hatch into larvae which come in two forms, cannibalistic (meaning that they eat one another ) and non-cannibalistic larvae. The larvae take a varied amount of time depending on the region, to fully metamorphose into an adult tiger salamander.

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