Thursday, February 09, 2012


mudpuppyDrew! You're from Knoxville! How can you not know what a mudpuppy is? Even if you didn't recognize the picture, that "bark is worse than its bite" joke should have pointed you in the right direction. (Actually, even though they have holding teeth, not tearing teeth, their bite is worse than their "bark", once you aren't startled by a salamander barking...)

Uh-oh! Contradictory statements on the Internet! I went looking for a picture, and found that Wikipedia says they don't bark, but Nat Geo says they do! Okay, well, NatGeo says they make a "dog-like barking" that they later qualify as a mere "squeaky vocalization". It's true: it's not a bark but for a salamander it's pretty startling. Especially a salamander that's well over a foot long. Both sites say "they spend their entire life underwater" but I'm here to tell you that this only means they basically live in water; they do in fact walk on land sometimes - fairly often, in fact, though always close to water.

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