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Pseudobranchus

Otterwoman

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Does this refer to an animal with external gills, or can they have internal gills?

I ask because in the Petranka book (which I finished last night!!!), it calls hellbenders perennibranches, but you don't see gills in adults.
 

John

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Perennibranchiate salamanders have gills for their entire lives. The clue here is in the name: Crypto branchus - Hidden Gill. These salamanders have folds of skin that effectively act as external gills, but the fact that they work like gills is not obvious to the eye, hence the name. In essence, a gill is simply a structure that allows blood to carry out gaseous exchange with water, and the skin of most salamanders is capable of this to a lesser or greater degree. Cryptobranchids carry this to an extreme.

So Petranka's use of the word is in a non-conventional sense, in my opinion, because most gilled salamanders have truly independent structures at the head for gaseous exchange.
 

Jennewt

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Good stuff! Could either of you be so kind as to word this into a definition for the Glossary?
 

John

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Feedback on the other thread please.
 

John

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Well pseudo means false or imitation. There I leave you.
 

Otterwoman

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Well, that part I knew...I meant, what was special about them anatomically that they would be given a name like that...
 

John

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I know next to nothing about Pseudobranchus. Don't they have small legs? It might refer to that rather than gills but I am only guessing.
 

Otterwoman

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I finished Duellman and Trueb last night at work. Whew! I found the "hedonic" glands and the "prootic" and "squamosal" terms, and many more terms I never imagined, plus a few I think came from Dr. Seuss (the "prezygapophyses" and the "postzygapophyses" I believe came from his book, "Oh say can you say.";) And if they didn't, they should have). "Caudalipuboischiotibialis"? come on, really. How many of you were snickering to yourselves when I said I would take this on? I can summarize this book in one word: "TMI." I'm sure one could be an excellent amphibian vet and not need to know half the stuff in that book. Well, what did Nietzsche say? What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I'm stronger just for having lugged that book in and out of my locker every night.
That said, I did learn alot, even though there were times when it wasn't an issue of which parts I didn't understand, but rather, "oooh! Here's a sentence I sort of get!"

Anyway, the reason I'm posting this here is because I think this is the reason for the name "pseudobranchus" : The author is talking about obligate neotenes: "the fifteen species of obligate neotenic salamanders...exhibit different patterns of partial metamorphosis[....] Salamanders of the genera Andrias, Cryptobranchus, and Amphiuma resorb their gills, and in Andrias the gill slits close. Three pairs of external gills are retained in the adults of all the the others, except Pseudobrahnchus, which retains only one pair. (p.191).

I just find this interesting, so sorry if maybe you're bored.

Next on the menu: Stebbins. I read 3 chapters last night also (snow storm; decided to do a double) and it's much more approachable.
 

Jan

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Might we get a concise definition of Pseudobranchus?

Perennibranch was concisely defined in another thread.
 

Ken Worthington

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If I might add to this thread, knowing nothing of the species but having an interest in the name.

'Pseudo' = false

'Branchus' = stalk

So I think 'stalk' would refer to it being external; the word 'branchus' is masculine ( rather than feminine or neuter) which...ahem....makes sense.

However, a derivation of 'branchus' is 'arm' in Italian (Italian being very similar to Latin).

'Arm' in this case would seem appropriate, especially as this would translate as 'false-arms' and again, there being one pair might support my rather amatuerish theory!( Quote: 'except Pseudobranchus, which retains only one pair')

This might all be gibberish, of course, but I hope I haven't wasted anyone's time with this post......
 
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