Ryan Photographic - Cryptobranchidae - Giant salamanders

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Family Cryptobranchidae

This tiny family contains three species in two genera. The genus Andrias contains the two giant salamanders, the Chinese giant salamander depicted here and the Japanese salamander A. japonicus. The biggest of these, the Chinese giant salamander is endangered because of the usual absurd Chinese belief that it has medicinal properties and the probably not absurd belief that it tastes good. This monster can reach 1.8m but specimens this big are now rare.

The third member of the family is the hellbender, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, which can grow to 74 cm. This, the third largest salamander, is found in streams in the eastern United States.


Andrias davidianus

Andrias davidianus Giant Chinese salamander head shot

SALA 9514 Andrias davidianus Giant Chinese salamander






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