Salamander replaces toad as world’s strongest animal

Giant palm salamander

From New Scientist:

Salamander trumps toad as Mr Universe

10 February 2007

HOP away toads, you’ve lost your title as the world’s strongest animal.

That honour now passes to the giant palm salamander Bolitoglossa dofleini, whose tongue explodes outward with more instantaneous power than any other known vertebrate muscle.

At 18,000 watts of power per kilogram of muscle, the salamander, from the forest floors of Central America, is nearly twice as strong as the previous champ, the Colorado river toad Bufo alvarius.

Bufo alvarius

The palm salamander’s strength doesn’t come from muscle power alone but from elastic tissue that researchers believe stores up energy before exploding on release.

“It’s kind of like stretching out a rubber band and letting it snap back, or shooting a bow and arrow,” says biologist Stephen Deban of the University of South Florida in Tampa.

High-speed video revealed that plethodontid salamanders released their tongues at a rate faster than could be achieved through muscle contraction alone.


2 thoughts on “Salamander replaces toad as world’s strongest animal

  1. Pingback: Smallest chameleons have fastest tongues, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Hero shrews backbone evolution, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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