Monday, March 3, 2014

CA giant salamander ~ 03/03/14 ~ Purisima Creek

Dicamptodontidae (formerly Ambystomatidae)
If I had grown up in the Santa Cruz Mountains, you probably would not have been able to get me out of the creek.  As it was, my mother would express disgust at how muddy I got when playing in our irrigation ditch looking for crawdads and toads.  Hey, I'm thrilled to learn of the CA giant salamander.  For better pictures of this individual, check out randomtruth's flickr here and here.  This larvae is good sized and very comparable to the size of most adult newts that I've found.  They can be quite quick in the creek (say that fast 3 times).  Ken told me he had one bark at him.  Although, to me this recording from CA Herps sounds more like a fart than anything fearsome.  Read all about Ken's first-hand encounters with full-on beasties at Nature of a Man.  They're not named "giant" for nothing. Lastly, as a comparison, Blue Jay Barrens has a recent post of a fatty salamander in his Ohio backyard.


biobabbler said...

Niiiiiice. Totally jealous. Must learn more!

I was TOTALLY (also) that girl in the sloughs behind the houses, looking for tadpoles, etc. In fact I returned to that neighborhood a few years ago & searched for that beloved source of mud & adventure & it was gone. =(

ANY how, turns out you can make it a career. Who knew. People will pay the intrepid to ford muddy streams for them. =)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Looks like if you want to see one, you have to head to the coast side of CA. So, when are you coming? I very much want to find an adult giant and hear it fart... erm, I mean bark.