Japanese giant salamander
At the Detroit Zoo
The Japanese giant salamanders – two males (Bob and Dieter) and two females (Hetsu and Helga) – arrived in 1999 from Japan’s Asa Zoo where they were captive bred from wild-caught parents. They can be seen at the award-winning National Amphibian Conservation Center – a leader in amphibian conservation and research – which houses a spectacular diversity of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians.
The second largest salamander in the world, it can reach just over 4 feet long and weigh up to 88 pounds. Its skin is a mixture of gray, black and white, and is heavily wrinkled. This species has an elongated body, a long broad tail and two pairs of legs that are similar in size. The eyes are small and positioned on top of the broad, flat head.
Its small eyes make the salamander rely on its other senses to hunt.
It can go weeks without eating, if necessary.