Animals / Αmphibians / Mudpuppies - Waterdogs Don't Bark

Mudpuppies - Waterdogs Don't Bark


head gills

 

Amazing amphibians - mudpuppies (or sometimes "waterdogs") are water dwelling salamanders who get their unique name from the old (and incorrect) notion that they make a "barking" sound, much like a real dog! Most of the species of mudpuppies live in a straight line down the center of North America, as far north as central Canada, and down eastward into Mississippi and Georgia. Distinguishing them from other salamander species, mudpuppies never "grow out" of their gills, and instead keep them for life - they have lungs, as is required to be classified an amphibian, but they appear to not use them, instead spending their whole lives submerged in water. Their aquatic lifestyle is sustained by a diet of snails, crayfish, worms, fish eggs and any other small creepy-crawlies that live in the mud and under the rocks where mudpuppies dwell.

 

 

gulf coast

gulf coast waterdog

 

water dog grey

 

Mudpuppies like to live in streams, slow moving rivers and shallow lakes, but reports indicate that individual cases of mudpuppies living in water as deep as 90 feet are not too uncommon. Some of the individual species (such as the Alabama Waterdog) are considered endangered, and efforts have been made to protect at-risk species.

 

dwarf waterdog

dwarf waterdog

 

Sizes of these cool aquatic carnivores vary, most averaging between 20-30 centimeters (8-12 inches). Amazingly, they generally take upwards of six years to reach sexual maturity, when females can lay up to 200 eggs at a time.

 

brown mudpuppy

 

 

 

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