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Current Affairs

Salamander declared world’s largest amphibian

Date: 19 September 2019 Tags: Biodiversity

Issue

Researchers have identified two new species of giant salamander , one of which they suspect is the world's biggest amphibian.

 

Background

The newly discovered South China giant salamander , which can reach nearly two metres , is the largest of the three and is therefore the largest of the 8,000 or so amphibian species alive today.

 

Details

  • 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.

  • The research, published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, found three distinct genetic lineages in salamanders from different river systems and mountain ranges across China.

  • Their research also divides the single species of giant salamanders into three: davidianus, sligoi and a third species that hasn't been named yet. The third species is known only from tissue samples.

Conservation

The Chinese giant salamander has been listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).