Lions, tigers, bears and salamanders — oh my! You’ve seen this animal’s tiny cousin, but have you seen the Chinese giant salamander? It’s the largest amphibian in the world by far.
In 2015, Forbes reported the discovery of a rare giant salamander in China that weighed 110 pounds and measured almost 6 feet long! In this salamander’s defense, it had almost 200 years to grow this large. Think about this for a moment. How much do you weigh? How tall are you?
Andrew Cunningham of the Zoological Society of London told the BBC in 2015 that the giant salamander discovery was astounding. “Imagine a newt in a garden pond growing to this size,”
Cunningham said. “It is simply awe-inspiring to see a live adult in the flesh.”
Never seen it before? You may have seen a well-known cultural Chinese symbol based on this amazing animal. Legend has it that the Yin and Yang symbol was originally designed to resemble the black and white giant salamander, according to chinesegiantsalamanders.org. Or, if you associate dragons with Chinese culture, you may be thinking of the dragons that people associate with the waterfalls in Chinese mythology, which could very well be exaggerations of the giant salamanders!
These salamanders used to be quite popular. They lived in streams, caves and forests all over
China, but all this has changed since people have traded salamander homes for human homes. Now, according to the Chinese giant salamander website, this amphibian is critically endangered. Even still, the website explains that there are over 2 million farms that breed this species to be sold as a Chinese delicacy.