Up Close with a Giant Salamander

Maniwa City, Japan is home to a quite unusual creature, the giant salamander. With a length of around 1.5 meters (5 ft) and jaws that can tear open a human hand the Japanese giant salamander can be a fearsome creature to encounter in the wild.

These salamanders are aquatic and nocturnal, meaning they live in water and are active at night. They are found in clear, cool water and hunt for  insects, fish, and frogs. They will often snap at water comes into their reach hoping for food.

The giant salamander of Japan is only related to two other species, the Chinese giant salamander and the hellbender, found in the United States.  However, the skeleton is a match of fossils from 30 million years ago. This means that the giant salamanders we see today are almost exactly like the ones that lived with dinosaurs!

For more about these fascinating creatures and a video, visit BBC News.

You can read about the distant relative of the giant salamander, the spotted salamander, here on Animal Fact Guide.

Anteater Born in Japanese Zoo

A baby anteater is the newest addition to a Tokyo zoo. The anteater has not been named yet because the staff is unable to determine the gender, though they suspect it’s a boy. Anteaters have no teeth and use their tongues to lick up ants from anthills.  Anteaters are also known for their large claws on their front feet; the claws came in handy for this little anteater as he slipped from his perch.

More info: Independent Television News