Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Appalachian Forest Salamanders

The Hidden Jewels of Appalachia

by Joe Milmoe

Below is a short film created by Joe Milmoe, The Hidden Jewels of Appalachia that does a good job of introducing you to the great diversity of salamanders found in the Appalachian Mountains.

One of Shenandoah National Park's star salamanders is the Red-Spotted Newt.

species photo

 Newts are unique in that they have three distinct lifestyles.    They start as tadpoles in freshwater pools, change into a terrestrial stage (Red efts) pictured above.   This is the stage they are most recognized for. Their bright coloration warns predators that their skin contains a powerful neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin.   Red-Spotted Newts live three years on land but up to fifteen years total.   Their last stage is another adult aquatic stage during which they are a dull green and breed the next generation.   Credit for above information goes to Nature Guide to Shenandoah National Park by Ann and Rob Simpson:

The film follows:

"Very high aquatic diversity. America’s eastern forest’s aquatic diversity is the highest in all of the temperate world. Our native forest shelters half of the world’s crayfish species, nearly 10% of its turtles, nearly 40% of its salamanders, and almost 30% of its fresh-water mussels. One watershed in Tennessee has more fish species than all of Europe. The eastern United States has nearly 350 species of fresh-water mussels compared to only ten found in Europe, and only a handful of species in western United States."  
Extracted From the Arc Of Appalachia's website located at:

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