November 2007 Archives

land of the lost - plethodontid

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In May of 2005, I blogged about the discovery a new species of salamander Karsenia koreana. The discovery was important since most (98%) of the known species within the family Plethodontidae are found in North America. Karsenia koreana seemed out of place. A new study has investigated the genetic relationship of Karsenia koreana to 36 other salamanders in the family Plethodontidae. The study theorizes that Karsenia koreana is a descendant of North American plethodontid salamanders and may have moved across a Bering land bridge during a period of global warming. I doubt salamanders often make it into the NY Times but this news must be big since the NY Times has an article on it.
Picture courtesy of Discovery.com
Updating a Jan. 6, 2006 post on salamanders losing the state amphibian race to frogs, I found out today that Senator Timothy Grendell from Ohio has introduced Senate Bill 240 to name the Spotted Salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, as the state amphibian.
The Toledo Blade reported on Oct. 22, 2007 that a Slimy salamander, Plethodon glutinosus, at the Toledo Zoo has laid 18 eggs in the first, and maybe only, time that they have been bred in captivity. The Toledo Zoo website had no other information on the event but did have information on Frogtown, the section of the zoo where the Slimy salamander is housed along with 9 other species of salamanders. The Toledo Zoo not only displays the salamanders and other amphibians to the public but participates in programs to protect and preserve amphibian species.