Chinese Giant Salamander
“And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.”
In previous Creation Moments, we have seen how many amphibians can be very small. For example, there are frogs in Madagascar that are very little bigger than a large grain of rice.
But not all amphibians are so tiny. In various parts of China, there lives a giant salamander. The Chinese Giant Salamander is one of three species within the giant water salamander kind, or cryptobranchidae – the other two being the slightly smaller Japanese Giant Salamander and the smaller still North American hellbender.
This unusual giant salamander can grow up to 3 feet 9 inches in length and can weigh around 50 pounds. Yet, its tadpoles hatch at about an inch in length – though they do grow to nearly two feet before final metamorphosis.
Their feeding habits are also unusual. Although they eat a number of different animals – and they are nearly completely carnivorous – analysis of food contents showed that 23 percent of their food comes from freshwater crabs. This was their second biggest food source. The biggest source – 28 percent – was other giant salamanders. The animals are highly cannibalistic.
Pollution and loss of habitat has hit the numbers of this giant salamander hard. It is considered a delicacy in China. Its Japanese cousin is protected in Japan, but Chinese salamanders have been imported, and some have hybridized with the Chinese animal, demonstrating that this family of salamanders constitutes one biblical baramin.
God has made some unusual animals in His world, and the giant salamander is one of the strangest!
Prayer: We stand amazed, Lord, at the variety of unusual animals that You have made, demonstrating Your creative power and majesty. Amen.
Author: Paul Taylor
Ref: Encyclopedia Britannica, < https://www.britannica.com/animal/salamander#ref81718 >, accessed 3/30/2019.