About this video:
We discovered this female spotted salamander ovipositing on a stick while conducting a vernal pool survey.
From New Scientist:
Greedy larvae too much of a mouthful for predators
* 11:29 28 August 2007
* Roxanne Khamsi
Gluttony may protect certain species of prey from predators, suggests a new study. Some salamander larvae seem to have evolved such that they actively overeat to avoid becoming a meal themselves, say researchers.
Once the larvae reach a certain size, they no longer fit in the mouths of their predators. And the new study found that the larvae were mostly likely to engage in this overeating behaviour in ponds where they faced the greatest number of predators.
Mark Urban of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, California, US, spent three years collecting data from 10 ponds in the northeast of the country.
Marbled salamander larvae can comfortably gulp down prey smaller than 3.3 millimetres. And, notably, at three weeks the body of a typical spotted salamander larva measures about this size in diameter at its thickest point, making it relatively easy to swallow.
Scientists have shown, however, that spotted salamander larvae in ponds with many marbled salamanders measure about 3.8 mm in diameter – they believe that these prey bulk up to avoid becoming dinner.
Salamandra salamandra: here.
In 1888, a biologist called Henry Orr was collecting spotted salamander eggs from a small, swampy pool when he noticed that some of them were green. He wrote, “The internal membrane of each egg was coloured a uniform light green by the presence in the membrane of a large number of minute globular green Algae.” Orr decided that the eggs “present a remarkable case of symbiosis.” The salamanders and the algae co-existed in a mutually beneficial relationship: here. And here.
Spotted Salamander Egg Masses: here.
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