Any papers on Ambystomid burrowing behavior?

C

Cliygh and Mia

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Are there any scientific reports on how ambystomids burrow? As in, do they swim through the soil like a sandfish skink? Or do they claw their way through, like a mole? If you have any papers or research on how the ambystomids burrow, please post it here! Thanks in advance! :happy:
 

Neotenic_Jaymes

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The way they burrow is very simple actually. They use their heads and push through the soil. Moving their heads side to side to shovel and loosen up soil. Their limbs help thrust them through the soil. In a way there is a swimming motion in a sense. Imagine how a Tiger Salamander wrangles large worms or pinkies. They shake them side to side vigorously. Their heads are built to move side to side forcefully. If you ever get the chance, study a Ambystoma skeleton. It reveals how they are built to move. It'll give you a good understanding of Ambystoma movement and motions.

In my opinion Ambystoma talpoideum are one the best burrowers. Their heads are huge relative to their body size. The head shape is flattened and shaped like an actual shovel. Their bodies are short and stocky, they just shovel and muscle their way through the ground. Other salamanders with body types opposite of (big head short and stocky) like Ambystoma barbouri seem well suited for subterranean life even though they're slender and have small heads.
 
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C

Cliygh and Mia

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You know, that explains a lot, when I would take him out to clean his enclosure, he would thrash his head around, that explains it, thanks!
 
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