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Large Aquatic Salamanders (Hellbenders/Cryptobranchids, Necturus, Siren, etc.) This topic covers Cryptobranchids like the hellbender and Asian giant salamanders, as well as sirens, mud puppies, and amphiumas.

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Old 16th April 2007   #1
jonathan
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I had the TV tuned to the discovery channel special "Planet Earth" and I happened to look up and see one of the giant asian salamanders (sorry I can't tell you if it was the Chinese or Japanese) but the footage was fantastic. Captured several instances of successful feeding on fish.



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Old 16th April 2007   #2
Ryan
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Darn! I missed it I was gonna watch it too! I think there is or was another episode with the Texas Blind Salamander.



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Old 16th April 2007   #3
Anthony mcgill
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yeah i saw that too, it was during the 3000 ft waterfall/ cold water segment. i forget if they mentioned the species but there was a good 5-10 minutes of footage



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Old 17th April 2007   #4
cameron
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I wanted to see it. I had to get rest for today though because of CRCT testing at school. Darn.



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Old 20th April 2007   #5
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I saw this, and it was amazing, it was right after the bamboo shrimp too, I was in heaven. I love that series! Too bad the US release has sigourney weaver narating...Get the British version, it isnt a real nature show unless David Attenborough is narrating. You know what i mean if you have seen many nature shows....Yes it was Japanese Giant Salamander in the segment, they say so.

They seriously need more shows on salamanders.



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Old 20th April 2007   #6
cameron
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There is an amphibian show that comes on animal planet periodically. It is called "Extreme Amphibians." It has hellbenders, mudpuppies, giant sals, Frogs as big as dogs, and amphiumas. It had a neat story about a guy who used hellbenders to his advantage. I think you can see it at discoverychannel.com.



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Old 20th April 2007   #7
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I have seen that Cameron but when will it come on again, when I saw it the first time i didn't care for sals as much as I do now.



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Old 20th April 2007   #8
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It came on during February. I'll tell everyone when it comes on again in the General Disscusion Forum.



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Old 21st April 2007   #9
kyle
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Here is a link to the video on Youtube.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=uYF_yIoOcEo
Pretty amazing sequence. I thought they were quick in captivity, I'm amazed at how fast and powerful they actually are. I guess it makes a difference when you have to catch live fish rather than having dead ones wiggled in front of your face. Pretty sweet.



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Old 21st April 2007   #10
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Cool video Kyle, do you have any idea what species it is? I'm guessing the Japanese one only because of the less prominent eyes.



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Old 21st April 2007   #11
mark
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It's funny to think you guys in the US are watching "Planet Earth". It was made right here in Bristol and my wife worked on it for 2-3 years. look out for an "Aartse-Tuyn" in the credits....



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Old 21st April 2007   #12
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Pretty cool your wife worked on Planet Earth. I will look at the credits more closely. Any specific thing she did on it?

Hey thanks for name of the other the discovery show. I think i saw it when i went to visit someone who has cable/sat tv. On that "most extreme countdown show" I have seen tiget salamanders and axolotls.

Yes, In planet Earth about the caves there is a long sequence about the cave salamander. It is amazing.

As for sigourney, she should stay in Alien. I have issues with celebs doing voiceovers in nature/educational shows, cept for Leonard Nemoy. Once on PBS i saw a really nice show really educational but i couldnt take it seriously cus Matt Damon was doing the voice over. Speaking of amphibians, David Attenborough(the narator for the real version of planet earth and many other nature shows) is working on a Herp show due out in 2008. Pretty sure there will be more Japanese Godzilla Salamanders in that.



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Old 22nd April 2007   #13
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As to the question if it is Chinese or Japanese Giant Salamander, I can't be completely sure. I didn't see the original clip on TV to know if the narrator gives any specific information on the animal, or the other habitat, so I cannot say for sure. Anyone?

It is very difficult to differentiate between the two species, but I'm 99% confident if I saw the two side by side I would be able to identify them properly. The A. davidianus I have seen in person have been very gray, and more clumsy in appearance, and this holds true for many of the photos I have seen, but not always.

Within both species, there is much variation in head shape, and size, as well as the pigmentation of the blothces. But a majority of the Japanese giants have that larger muscular head shape. I think, and this is really quite anecdotal, that the species in the video is the Japanese Giant because of the very large head, and darker coloration (although the lighting to be sure of this is rather poor). Also, and again anecdotal, I am pretty sure it would be much easier to film in Japanese waters, than in Chinese waters. Both countries appear to be very proud of these animals, but so far, Japan is much more open and easier to work with from a conservation perspective.

That is my take on it, but I am certainly not an expert, just an enthusiastic enthusiast.



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Old 22nd April 2007   #14
mark
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AnnMarie – I think she’s down as Production Co-ordinator. She’s not credited on all the programmes as she only worked on certain ones. Off the top of my head it was the first programme, mountains, forests and the Antarctic/ Arctic show. It’s a pretty cool job, flying around in a helicopter with a high definition camera hanging off the front!

The herp show you mention is called Life in Cold Blood and features a whole programme dedicated to amphibians. I’ve been doing some work for it over the past 8 months. My spare room has been converted into a bizarre film set and wildlife camera men have been filming various amphibian behaviours. I’ve seen some of the other footage they’ve been filming and there’s plenty of caudates for us to get excited about! I’m not going to spoil it though… you’ll have to wait.



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Old 22nd April 2007   #15
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Mark, I have to say I'm very intrigued by the work you and your wife are involved in! It sounds like an amazing job indeed. If you don't mind me asking, how did you and her get involved in such productions?



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Old 22nd April 2007   #16
mark
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Not an exciting story really… my wife started off in an administration role at the BBC and applied internally for a job in production for a programme call Life of Mammals many years ago. As for me, somebody from the Life in Cold Blood production team came round on a social visit and I felt obliged to show them my “Newt Room”… the rest as they say is history.



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