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Spot the salamanders

Hello! This is Claire from the Herpetology Team. I’d like to talk a little bit about some of our species that are a little harder to find in the Georgia eXtremes building at Scaly Slimy Spectacular. We have a cool mossy seepage habitat next to the eastern hellbender that is home to some of our smallest species here at Zoo Atlanta. There are three different species of salamander that reside in this space: seal salamanders, dwarf black-bellied salamanders, and Blue Ridge two-lined salamanders. All these guys can be difficult to find, but one trick is to look at the crevices and ledges on the walls where water flows and collects. These guys are super good climbers and can blend right into the shadows. They might even be right in front of your nose without you knowing!

The big reason I want to talk about these guys is that they are just a small number of the huge amount of salamander species that are native to Georgia! There are actually over 50 different species found across the state! One of the reasons for this is that Georgia has a very diverse range of habitats that salamanders are adapted to live in. You might find these guys in streams, wetlands, underground, or even climbing up trees! 

Salamanders play a big role in our ecosystems here in Georgia and across the world. They are both predator and prey for a lot of other cool species and help to ensure that our food web remains balanced. I hope that the next time you visit Georgia eXtremes, you take a moment to try and find these tiny amazing creatures!

Claire T.
Keeper I, Herpetology

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