Posted by: Team-Ducky | August 5, 2010

Red Salamanders (D221-432)

(Cameo - Cheryl)

Created by Craig for Wolfe’s Den on June 14th, 2010.

(Cameo - Cheryl)

Inspired by the red salamanders* we saw while walking through the swamp/woods to this cache.

We actually got to hold the salamander* in our hand.  It was very cool.

A Salamander* in two hands is worth two in the bush.

MrMacMan2U was a good sport in holding the salamander* for a photo.

(Cameo - Cheryl)

*Our friend, Little Turtles (Bill Harman), a biologist/naturalist, corrected us.  This isn’t really a red salamander.  Well, it is–but it isn’t.  It is actually a Red Spotted Newt.  Actually, it isn’t really that either… it is a Red Spotted Eft, the juvenile stage of the Red Spotted Newt (which is, like all newts, a part of the salamander family.)  We also learned that these cute little buggers are bright red/orange/pink as a warning to the wiser creatures of the woods and waters that they are poisonous.  (Yes, we were holding them in our hands.  No, we are not, obviously, wise.)   They secrete a toxin from their skin that is related to the deadly puffer fish.  Fortunately, this toxin is rarely dangerous to humans– unless you try to eat a bunch of them.

Image courtesy of Rutgers University

MrMacMan2U has grown quite fond of the Red Salamander Ducky’s skin toxin and has taken him home so he can get a dose whenever he feels the urge.

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