World’s largest amphibian identified as a unique species
Chinese giant salamanders are three separate species; this new finding should help guide efforts to save the critically endangered animal.
What is the world’s largest amphibian? Scientists have just come up with a new answer to a question that—one would think—might be settled by now.
Broadly speaking, we already knew that the largest amphibians are the giant salamanders of China. They can grow more than five feet in length and well over 100 pounds. Only a few decades ago they could still be readily found throughout China, from the subtropical south to the north-central mountains to the eastern part of the country.
Despite being found over such a wide area, and in areas separated by mountains and consisting of separate rivers, researchers have considered them to be a single species, Andrias davidianus.
But new research of museum specimens shows that Chinese