Siberian Salamanders, They Like to Chill-Out

Salamandrella keyserlingii1
Salamandrella keyserlingii2

Siberian salamanders (Salamandrella keyserlingii), they are found mainly in Siberia, in wet woods and riparian groves, also found in northern Kazakhstan and Mongolia, northeastern China, and on the Korean Peninsula. The diet of the Siberian salamander is mostly composed of slugs and arthropods (organisms with a skeleton outside of the body(exoskeleton), body divided into distinct parts, jointed legs and appendages, bilateral symmetry (both sides of the body are the same)), while the larvae (young salamanders) generally eat smaller invertebrates(organisms without vertebrae column) and plankton. The reproductive season of the Siberian salamander begins in mid-April or May in mild areas and the end of May or mid-June in Arctic areas. After a courtship dance by the male, the female Siberian salamander lays a clutch consisting of a pair of egg sacs connected to each other by a stalk, which attaches them to the substrate (the natural environment in which an organism lives, or the surface or medium on which an organism grows or is attached.) The Siberian salamander prefers slow moving, shallow water such as ponds and puddles when laying eggs.

Siberian salamanders are well-known for their ability to survive extreme cold climate. They can survive for prolonged periods at -45°C (-49° F). This is possible for them, because they produce the ‘anti-freeze’ chemicals that replace water in blood and cells and protect tissues from damage by ice crystals or the burst of cell plasma. Some animals like arctic frogs and arctic salamanders use glucose, glycerol and related compounds to protect them from freezing in this way. However, this fascinating creature still has a problem, which is it needs time to adapt to cold climate, so a sudden drop of the temperature would be lethal to the Siberian salamanders. The Siberian salamander is present in many protected areas throughout its range, and is also protected in the Heilongjiang Province in China and Shibecha Town and Kushiro City in Japan. It is listed on the Red Data Books of Mongolia and several provinces of Russia.

This topic came to mind, when Siberian salamanders were introduced in a documentary from a channel called, “Animal planet.” This was an incredulous topic, because we, humanity can’t freeze ourselves, because our cell membranes would explode, because of the water inside of cells. We learned that most of animals go through evolution and adaptation. I think Siberian salamander is a decent example for adaptation. The mechanism of Siberian salamanders being able to freeze themselves is still not discovered. If the mechanism is found there would be application of this mechanism in variety, like freezing ourselves for the medical treatment in future. This topic caused me to think more deeply about evolution and adaption, at last a question emerged, which is, if we humans came from the same species, then what caused us to have different languages. This is ironic, because animals that are same species can communicate together in some kind of forms.

This entry was written by Joseph K. and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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