Chinese giant salamander

A gargantuan beast, though harmless. Not many predators dare touch it —except for, of course, humans

Andrias davidianus

Chinese giant salamander


A gargantuan beast, though harmless. Not many predators dare touch it —except for, of course, humans

Population 50,000
80% decline in population over the last 30 years

A truly remarkable and extremely endangered amphibian known for its immense size, unique adaptations, and significant conservation challenges. This impressive amphibian holds the distinction of being the largest of its kind, capable of reaching lengths exceeding 1.8 meters (almost 6 feet), making it a giant among amphibians.

One of the key features that set the Chinese giant salamander apart from other amphibians is its relatively weak vision. To compensate for this limitation, they rely heavily on their acute sense of touch and vibration detection in the water to locate prey. Their diet includes a variety of aquatic creatures, such as crabs, frogs, water shrews, fish, and various invertebrates, which they capture using their powerful jaws.

Historically, the Chinese giant salamander’s range encompassed the chilly mountain rivers and steep slopes covered with dense forest vegetation in China. However, their populations have been dramatically reduced over the years, primarily due to habitat loss and overfishing. These majestic creatures have faced extensive challenges, including the destruction of their natural habitats and exploitation of their meat and skin.

In China, more than 2 million Chinese giant salamanders are kept on farms for their meat, contributing to the severe decline in their wild populations. As a result, this remarkable amphibian is now listed as critically endangered, facing the imminent risk of extinction in the wild.


Population est.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No