Japanese giant salamander
At the Detroit Zoo
Five Japanese giant salamanders – three males (Bob, Dieter and Sven) 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. Their expansive habitat features a waterfall, caves, live plants, and a stream.
Japanese giant salamanders are the second largest salamanders in the world; they can reach more than four feet long and weigh up to 88 pounds. Their 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. Their eyes are small and positioned on top of their broad, flat heads.
Due to them having small eyes, Japanese giant salamanders rely on their other senses to hunt.
Japanese giant salamanders can go weeks without eating, if necessary.