Exploring God’s World with Ross Golden: Salamanders
Salamanders are found throughout Pennsylvania, living in moist or wet places on the forest floor. Salamanders have thin skin and can easily dry out and die, so they come out at night. They are also harmless to humans, but, it is not good to be smaller than a salamander. They eat almost any animal smaller than themselves. Salamanders are in turn prey for snakes, birds, and carnivorous mammals.
Salamanders are amphibians: which means
they are ectothermic (cold-blooded) and spend part of their life cycle on land but reproduce in water or very damp areas. They lay eggs without shells in water starting out in a larval stage then changing into their adult form and returning to the forest. They live in rotten logs, under rocks and leaf litter as long as it is moist.
Salamanders should not be confused with lizards. Lizards are reptiles, related to snakes and have scales. Salamanders have smooth skin. Generally salamanders are brown or green with spots or stripes, the general camo colors. An interesting color pattern is the eastern newt. The newt starts as a larvae and develops into a juvenile stage which is red, some say orange in color and is called the red eft. The red eft crawls very conspicuously through the woods with no attempt to hide. The red eft is unpalatable so predators simply leave it alone. Efts return to the water the following breeding season and morph into the adult newt. The juvenile stage of the newt is thought to aid in dispersion of the population. Newts are also very popular for aquariums and terrariums.
Genesis 1: 24 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so.