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Salamanders

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NEWS
February 10, 2004 | David Lukas
Pacific Giant Salamander [ DICAMPTODON TENEBROSUS ] The most abundant vertebrate predator in many coastal streams of Northern California hides by day in deep pools or in the cobbles of rushing rapids, emerging at night to feast on small invertebrates. The stolid Pacific giant salamander is so inscrutable that biologists who study it know little about its life history. No one has observed the animal's courtship behavior, and only a couple of nests have been found.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 2013 | By David Colker
If anyone could make lizards, salamanders, snakes and all measure of creepy, crawling things objects of wonder and even beauty, it was Robert C. Stebbins. His well-regarded books, lectures and artwork made him a superstar among those who studied reptiles and amphibians, from world-famous scientists to weekend naturalists who hiked with his nature guides in hand. Although he did much of his work alone and tended toward shyness, Stebbins' scientific discoveries and willingness to stand up for his convictions have been celebrated by many, including bestselling author Richard Dawkins.
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SCIENCE
May 21, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A new species of salamander has been identified in the Siskiyou Mountains of Northern California and southern Oregon, researchers said Wednesday. The Scott Bar salamander, classified as Plethodon asupak, had been considered a member of another species until genetic analysis showed it was a distinct evolutionary line. "It's pretty rare to find a new species of something that actually has four legs," said Joseph Vaile of the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center in Ashland, Ore.
SCIENCE
July 5, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
Somewhere between 390 to 360 million years ago, a four-legged vertebrate, or tetrapod, crawled out of the water and gave rise to the amphibians, reptiles and mammals we see today. Scientists have established that this creature descended from fish and evolved its limbs and digits underwater, before its transition to dry ground. Life on land was accompanied by major modifications of the vertebrate skeleton, such as the evolution of a neck. Sandy Kawano, a graduate student at Clemson University, wondered how that transition from surf to turf might have happened - and she turned to modern animals to figure it out. Fossils of such science fiction muses as Ichthyostega , an early tetrapod, provide information on these organisms' appearance, but you can't get behavior out of old bones, Kawano said.
NEWS
March 29, 1987 | United Press International
Lovelorn salamanders will be protected from the threat of automobile tires as they make their annual pilgrimage across a road to a breeding pond this spring, an environmentalist said Friday. Robert Winston, 44, said he got permission from the Board of Selectmen to barricade a 500-yard stretch of Henry Street at night so the spotted mole salamanders can cross from a wooded area to a shallow pond without being run over. "We're probably talking about 100 salamanders," Winston said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2003 | From Staff and Wire Reports
The Santa Maria Public Airport District board met this week with representatives from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to discuss establishing a program to help endangered California tiger salamanders flourish. Airport officials are trying to devise a plan that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service representatives will accept as mitigation measures that will allow a proposed research park and golf course to move forward.
NEWS
November 26, 1989 | From Times staff and wire reports
Once again, San Francisco commuters have ceded the right of way to the lowly salamander, detouring around South Park Drive to allow the newts safe passage to their breeding grounds just across the usually busy roadway. Each winter, hundreds of the semiaquatic salamanders emerge from hibernation in Tilden Park and begin pouring across the road in the Berkeley hills to lay their eggs. They head back across the road in spring to resume hibernation.
NEWS
April 26, 2009 | Lisa Rathke, Rathke writes for the Associated Press.
The black salamander with yellow spots sat on the roadside in the dark, ready to make a go of it. But it was not on its own. It got help from an escort -- one of 45 people who volunteered on a recent night to carry salamanders, frogs and newts across the road during their annual migration to mate. On rainy nights in early spring, roads between forests and vernal pools are hopping and crawling with activity. On some nights, hundreds of amphibians cross small stretches of asphalt to mate.
NEWS
September 23, 1999 | From Associated Press
An environmental group has sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the California tiger salamander and nine other species in seven Western states. The Center for Biological Diversity seeks to compel the service to list the animals under the federal Endangered Species Act. The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
NEWS
February 21, 1990 | LANIE JONES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
From Yosemite National Park to the Australian rain forest, many species of frogs and salamanders are rapidly disappearing, and their extinction may be an early warning of environmental dangers facing mankind, according to scientists attending a conference at UC Irvine Tuesday. A panel of 20 U.S. and foreign scientists cited cases where large populations of frogs and salamanders have been killed by acid rain or acid snow, deforestation, pesticide use or the pollution of water by heavy metals.
NEWS
October 3, 2012 | By Patt Morrison
Well, here it is, or almost, the specter that environmental scientists warn about: that we wind up killing off the one creature that can save us as a species. The ajolote , a 9-inch-long aquatic salamander, has been swimming around the waterways of Mexico City since before there was a Mexico City, since even well before the Aztecs. And it's been a powerful symbol in the legends of ancient Mexico itself. Now that long run may be coming to an end, as the canals of Xochimilco are too polluted, too full of non-native species and too degraded to support this ancient creature.
WORLD
October 1, 2012 | By Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
MEXICO CITY - Somewhere underneath the hull of Armando Tovar's boat, the aquatic manifestation of the great god Xolotl was slithering along the muddy canal bottom, digesting bugs, laying eggs and trying to avoid extinction. Even though he could not see the creature, Tovar knew it would be confronting its troubled environment with that weird fixed smile, the one that makes it appear to be in on some cosmic joke. As a 9-inch salamander, of course, the ajolote (pronounced ah-ho-LO-tay)
SCIENCE
August 1, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Biologists studying a drained river in Brazil have discovered a new species of amphibian that looks disconcertingly like a male organ. Researchers have called the eyeless creature, known formally as Atretochoana eiselti , a "floppy snake," but it is not a reptile. Rather, it is an amphibian more closely related to salamanders and frogs. Biologists for San Antonio Energy discovered six of the creatures while examining the bottom of the Madeira River in Brazil's northern state of Rondonia.
SCIENCE
May 7, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Around the world, frogs, salamanders and other amphibians are disappearing — and much about their demise has been a mystery. Now, in an episode of amphibian CSI, biologists have used decades-old museum samples of frogs, toads and salamanders to track the relentless path of a killer fungus across Mexico and Central America over the last 40 years. The findings, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, strongly link the amphibians' disappearance to the fungus and suggest that the disease was an alien invader rather than a native disease let loose by climate change.
NEWS
April 26, 2009 | Lisa Rathke, Rathke writes for the Associated Press.
The black salamander with yellow spots sat on the roadside in the dark, ready to make a go of it. But it was not on its own. It got help from an escort -- one of 45 people who volunteered on a recent night to carry salamanders, frogs and newts across the road during their annual migration to mate. On rainy nights in early spring, roads between forests and vernal pools are hopping and crawling with activity. On some nights, hundreds of amphibians cross small stretches of asphalt to mate.
SCIENCE
December 1, 2007 | Karen Kaplan, Times Staff Writer
Go west, young salamander! New genetic evidence suggests ancient amphibians heeded this advice, migrating from the West Coast of North America to Asia via a land bridge connecting Alaska and Siberia about 80 million years ago. The analysis, published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, explains how small colonies of so-called lungless salamanders wound up in Italy and Korea when 98% of the species live in the Western Hemisphere.
SCIENCE
May 7, 2011 | By Amina Khan, Los Angeles Times
Around the world, frogs, salamanders and other amphibians are disappearing — and much about their demise has been a mystery. Now, in an episode of amphibian CSI, biologists have used decades-old museum samples of frogs, toads and salamanders to track the relentless path of a killer fungus across Mexico and Central America over the last 40 years. The findings, published online Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, strongly link the amphibians' disappearance to the fungus and suggest that the disease was an alien invader rather than a native disease let loose by climate change.
SCIENCE
July 5, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
Somewhere between 390 to 360 million years ago, a four-legged vertebrate, or tetrapod, crawled out of the water and gave rise to the amphibians, reptiles and mammals we see today. Scientists have established that this creature descended from fish and evolved its limbs and digits underwater, before its transition to dry ground. Life on land was accompanied by major modifications of the vertebrate skeleton, such as the evolution of a neck. Sandy Kawano, a graduate student at Clemson University, wondered how that transition from surf to turf might have happened - and she turned to modern animals to figure it out. Fossils of such science fiction muses as Ichthyostega , an early tetrapod, provide information on these organisms' appearance, but you can't get behavior out of old bones, Kawano said.
NEWS
January 28, 2007 | John Biemer, Chicago Tribune
The slippery little salamander lying on the mammography machine was oblivious to the way the device had once been used. With equipment that had checked thousands of women for breast cancer, Brookfield Zoo veterinarians produced an intricate look at Tony the tiger salamander's innards. The critter recently had an infection in his right rear foot severe enough that doctors had to amputate the tip of his toe. St. James Hospital and Health Centers in Olympia Fields, Ill.
SCIENCE
May 21, 2005 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A new species of salamander has been identified in the Siskiyou Mountains of Northern California and southern Oregon, researchers said Wednesday. The Scott Bar salamander, classified as Plethodon asupak, had been considered a member of another species until genetic analysis showed it was a distinct evolutionary line. "It's pretty rare to find a new species of something that actually has four legs," said Joseph Vaile of the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center in Ashland, Ore.
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