200-Year-Old Giant Salamander Discovered in Chinese Cave
Video has just been released showing a massive, prehistoric-looking Chinese giant salamander that was recently discovered outside a cave in southwest China. The creature measures four feet, seven inches long and weighs 114 pounds, and experts are estimating it to be over 200 years old.
This ancient species of amphibian has been around for more than 170 million years—long enough to have co-existed with some dinosaurs. Their numbers have taken a steep dive in the past few decades due to their status as a local delicacy and source of traditional medicine, and their sluggish pace hasn’t done them much good. They have been designated as a protected species in China, and spotting one in the wild is incredibly rare.
Chinese giant salamanders usually inhabit rocky streams and lakes, and are known to hunt crabs, lobsters, and large fish. Despite being the largest amphibians on Earth, their local nickname is wa wa yu or “baby fish” because their calls are said to sound like crying babies. The salamander in the video above has since been transported to a nearby research facility for further study.
[h/t: Daily Mail]