Weird Amphibians Join List of At-Risk Oddities

Weird Amphibians Join List of At-Risk Oddities
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January 22, 2008—A man holds a Chinese giant salamander, one of ten species to garner conservation attention as part of the EDGE Amphibians program announced today by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). The initiative is dedicated to preserving what the group says are some of the world's strangest and most vulnerable amphibian species.

The Chinese giant salamander, which ZSL says is the world's largest amphibian, is part of a distinct evolutionary lineage from the age of dinosaurs and can reach the size of human—almost 6 feet (1.8 meters) in length.

In addition to fragmented habitat, the creature —a distant relative of the newt—has been hunted to near extinction, so part of ZSL's conservation efforts include educating local people about the animal.

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—Photo by International Cooperation Network for Giant Salamander Conservation/courtesy Zoological Society of London
 
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