Iced Salamandra!

mike

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When my Salamandra are newly metamorphosed, I house them in 2 litre plastic icecream containers.
We have "His and Hers" chest freezers in an outbuilding, next to the "Salamander Room".(I wont go into whats in my freezer!)
Due to lack of workspace in the sal room, I often use the top of my freezer to stack boxes for cleaning, etc.
One evening, while "entertaining" our grandaughter, I was asked to get the icecream from my wifes freezer, which I dutifully did, and returned it to the freezer afterwards.
Later that evening, my wife saw the icecream on my freezer, and assuming I had forgotten to replace it, did so.
I discovered the mistake next day, some 12 hours later.The baby salamanders were frozen onto the paper towel substrate, looking very dead.
A few hours later, they were moving around quite normally.
Tough little critters, arent they!
 
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francesco

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I knew some species could live after being frozen but I didn't think salamandra could. Were they completely frozen?
 

mike

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I didnt examine them that well, I thought that they might snap! I just muttered something about my wifes parentage, and left the room.
Heres some amazing facts: The Siberian newt (Salamandrella kerserlingii) can survive freezing to -35 to -40 degrees Celcius, and can move at +0.5 to 1 degree C.
Biochemical analysis reveals concentrate of the cryoprotectant, glycerol, as a result tissues and organs do not freeze at -20C. (S.L.Kuzmin)
Possibly salamandra also has an antifreeze in its blood to some extent.

(Message edited by mike on November 13, 2003)
 

mike

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So, when I finally get around to building my outdoor enclosure next spring, I don't have to worry too much about the hibernaculum!?
 

mike

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But you seemingly have been worrying Mike.

Have a nice cup of hot chocolate, and try to get some sleep!
 

mike

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If my pets are nocturnal, I am too!
 
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aaron

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Have there been any studies as to how long a salamander can remain frozen? I would still build a hibernaculum if it was up to me.

~Aaron
 
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chris

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I found a juvenile triturus alpestris that had not found the hibernaculum frozen solid in my enclosure. After sitting on my hand with some warm breath and thenn inside in a tub it was eating in 1hr!
Chris
 

mike

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Back to the Siberian Newt.
"Adults can survive in a frozen state for a very long time. Sometimes such frozen salamanders, found in the perma-frost at a depth of 4-14metres "revive" after melting. About 10 such instances are known, mainly from north-eastern Siberia. As a rule, such animals die soon after melting, but sometimes they survive for a long time. The age of one such specimen excavated from a depth of 11 metres was determined as 90, + or - 15 years."
 
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aaron

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Wow, very interesting. How did they determine it was that old? Did they look at it's birth certificate?


~Aaron
 

mike

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Apparently Aaron they also found a wallet in his waistcoat, in it was a payment book for his old age pension.
It may have been just be a wicked rumour tho.
 
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aaron

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I see, that just explained it


In actuality, I find it somewhat humorous everytime I hear that someone estimated the age of something. Take dinosaur fossils for instance. There is no way that they could even reasonably ascertain that the bones are 23424 million years old. Bring them one of your adult salamanders and ask them how old it is. I have one question for them, "Were you there?"

~Aaron
 

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"In recent years a new technique, known as skeletochronology, has enabled biologists to determine the ages of amphibians very accurately. Just as trees lay down growth rings each year, the limb bones of amphibians have a resting phase in their growth during the winter months. When the bones are sectioned and examined under the microscope, these resting phases can be counted as the number of dark staining rings. The number of rings will therefore indicate how many winters the animal has experienced and consequently how old it is".
Richard A. Griffiths. (Newts and Salamanders of Europe.1996)
 
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