*Photo is from Kathy2408 @ Pixabay
Did you know it was written thousands of Alexander the Great’s soldiers and horses died after drinking the waters of a river in which a Fire Salamander had a swim?
Did you know it was said of these creatures that they may infect the fruit of trees with poison, and all who eat of the fruit will perish?
They were also said to be immune to the effects of fire (possibly because they were seen running from fires due to they were inside the logs that were tossed in the fires). How many were tossed into fires to test this claim?
Sounds like they received a bad rap through the eons.
This is just one place such stories can be found: https://www.wired.com/2014/08/fantastically-wrong-homicidal-salamander/
The true facts of these amazing creatures do not sound as fantastical, but, are quite amazing in their own rights! Check ’em out …
- With long life-spans, one specimen lived more than 50 years in a German museum!
- The Fire Salamander is indeed poisonous! The reactions to Samandarin, an alkaloid toxin, are intense muscle convulsions, hyperventilating, and eventually death (depending on the creature/exposure ratio)!
- The Fire Salamander can squirt, up to 12in. In distance, the poison (a neurotoxin) from glands behind it’s eyes into the faces (eyes or mouths) of potential predators, after which, the central nervous system, specifically the spinal chord is affected.
- They are one of Europe’s largest salamanders (although Fire Salamanders can be found in other parts of the world), reaching a length of 15-25 cm. They live in forests & are most often active at night time.
- The mating experience is odd – the male creates a spermatophore. He then leads his lizard lady to it. She then somehow, knows to hover above it to (…um…) upload it into her cloaca.
- This beautiful salamander’s skin also contains glands that secretes the Samandarin toxin which may be deadly to the unlucky one that touches or attempts to devour it.
- Fire Salamanders may be had as pets, but they should not be handled often or for long periods. The secretions will highly irritate skin. It is recommended to wash one’s hands prior to holding one to protect it. All salamanders’ skins are absorbent – the oils & salts of our own skin can harm them. It is wise to wash after holding one to protect our own skin, or simply wear latex/medical gloves. I recommend not having a pet that cannot benefit from companionship, leave those to live freely in their natural homes.
- Supposedly, there is a Slovenian drink, called Salamander Brandy, made from the secretions of beautiful Fire Salamders. The act of which, however, makes me want to slap people (knock them out, really) for their greed & cruelty just for the sake of entertainment.
*The info above is found at the links below:
- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_salamander (and the links therein)
“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – Dawn Renée