giant Slamander

giant Slamander

A giant salamander that once lived in the London Zoo and was later on display at the Natural History Museum represents a new species that may be the world’s largest amphibian.

This finding is part of a larger discovery about the diversity of Chinese giant salamanders, separating what was once thought of as a single species into three distinct species. A study detailing the new species was published Monday in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

Giant salamanders once lived across central, southern and eastern China. The species Andrias davidianus, known as the Chinese giant salamander, reach a length of 3.7 feet and 110 pounds. Now, the wild populations are critically depleted. Learning more about them could help to save the salamanders, the researchers said.

Researchers studied 17 specimens from museums and tissue samples from wild salamanders. That’s when they met Andria sligoi, the South China giant salamander, for the first time — even though the specimen had resided in a museum for 74 years.

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