Urodela – Salamanders

They only four-limbed animals that can grow back entire limbs and regenerate organs when injured

A slim body, four legs, and long tails are the characteristics of newts and salamanders. Preferring dark and wet places, they can be aquatic, terrestrial, or amphibious as adults and have complicated life cycles. Salamanders and newts cannot be distinguished scientifically.

Inhabiting primarily nocturnal niches, these amphibians have evolved various survival strategies. Many species employ vivid and eye-catching colors as a warning signal to potential predators, indicating their toxicity. In contrast, some adopt the art of mimicry, resembling the patterns of their toxic counterparts to deter would-be attackers.

These amphibians can remarkably regenerate lost body parts, including limbs and even parts of their heart and spinal cord. Some, like the axolotl, never fully undergo metamorphosis, remaining in a neotenic state throughout their lives, characterized by their permanent aquatic lifestyle.

Another astonishing feature is their production of potent toxins. Certain newt species possess skin glands that contain tetrodotoxin, an extremely potent toxin that can be deadly to predators if ingested. This chemical defense has earned them the nickname “fire salamanders,” as their toxins can cause a burning sensation when touched.

Furthermore, newts and salamanders are highly sensitive to environmental changes, making them crucial indicators of ecosystem health. They are often referred to as “bioindicators” because their presence or absence in a given habitat can signal changes in water quality and overall environmental conditions.

Within this order, courtship rituals are intricate and captivating, often involving elaborate displays by males to attract the attention of females. In some cases, males undergo color changes to enhance their allure during mating season, adding a fascinating dimension to the reproductive behaviors of these remarkable amphibians.