Saturday, November 15, 2008

11-08-08 Loch Ness Salamander

The Future Scientists are all about identifying mysterious creatures of the deep. And mysterious creatures of the deep are all about grainy film quality.

This particular mystery monster was a redback salamander, which is a beast that the Future Scientists have succeeded in finding for three weeks in a row now. This is not too surprising considering the fact that the redback salamander might be the most common terrestrial (i.e. landlubber) salamander in the Great Lakes region.

What is interesting is the fact that the Future Scientists only seem to find these salamanders colored in the leadback phase. The two most common phases of this salamander are "redback" and "leadback", basically depending on whether a red stripe runs down the back or not. Other color morphs may also occur, including a fiery all-red morph. However, when it comes to finding amphibians, so far the Future Scientists have restricted their salamander-palette to dirty brown/grey doodads.

This salamander did not rest on human flesh for very long, as pictured above. The Future Scientists realized that the salamander is lungless and breathes entirely through its moist skin. After the photo-op, the lil' sally was doused with some leafy creek juice, and put back under the wet leaves. Back to a busy day of lurking in the shadows for you, salamander buddy!