Urodela – Salamanders
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.
Members in this order are typically nocturnal to avoid predators. Many species are brilliantly colored to alert predators that they are poisonous to consume. Others mimic the patterns of their poisonous cousins to stay safe. When trapped, the animal’s tail frequently falls off and twitches to confuse its attackers while the rest escapes. Intricate courtship rituals are common among members of this group, and males may acquire bright colors to lure female attention.
Families in this order
Largest family of salamanders, 216 of which are Threatened as of 2020. 2 species are extinct (years 1964, 2019)
All newts are salamanders, but not all salamanders are newts: the latter spend more of their adult lives in the water than salamanders
Native to US and Canada, mostly members in this Family are terrestrial and eat invertebrates
Differ from other salamanders, mudpuppies never lose their gills, allowing them to spend their lives underwater
Unique in having small forelimbs and no hind limbs & external gills; only salamanders known eating also plants
Endemic to the North-west US; once classified in the family Ambystomatidae, reclassified in their own family in 1992
US native, these legless aquatic salamanders have elongated, greyish-black body
Primitive salamanders that practice external fertilization that look like that someone crossed a frog with a lizard
Nearly 1.8 meters (6ft) in length and living up 60 years, these “living fossils” are the largest amphibians on the planet