Japanese Giant Salamander
Andrias japonicus

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Range and habitat:
The Japanese giant salamander is found in the mountain-fed streams of southwestern Japan (western Hondo and northern Kyushu) at elevations of 200-1000 meters.

Natural diet:
This species eats fish and aquatic invertebrates.

Size / weight range:
The largest Japanese salamander on record is 4.6 feet. They reach a maximum weight of about 100 pounds.

Interesting facts:
The Japanese giant salamander is the second largest amphibian living today, exceeded only by the closely related Chinese giant salamander. It's also closely related to the North American hellbender, which is found only in the eastern United States. The hellbender is a much smaller species.

Unlike most salamanders that have internal fertilization, the giant salamanders have external fertilization and spawn. Males prepare a den in a stream and entice females to enter and lay their eggs.

The folds of skin on sides of these animals help it to obtain oxygen with the rapid moving water in streams. The giant salamanders prefer cold water, which has a higher oxygen content than warm water. These salamanders have lived for 55 years in zoo settings, but their maximum longevity has been estimated to be closer to 100 years.

Location at The Toledo Zoo:
Amazing Amphibians exhibit, located in the Museum of Science

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