worm salamanderimage credit: commons.wikimedia.org

worm salamanderimage credit: asnyder5

worm salamanderimage credit: videohlin

worm salamanderimage credit: asnyder5

worm salamanderimage credit: Javier_M.
Habitat: Panama, Colombia
Critically Endangered

These are a couple examples of some extremely rare salamanders – Oedipina maritima (1st and 3rd pictures) and Bolitoglossa pandi (2nd, 3rd and 4th).

Very little is known about either salamander since only a few specimens of each have ever been captured. Oedipina maritima is a species of worm salamander and its pretty obvious as to how it got its name. Maybe fishermen mistook it for a worm all these years and used it as bait? I think its an idea.

Both creatures are unique in that they don’t have any lungs! That’s right, in order to breathe they use their skin. Their skin must be kept moist at all times in order for oxygen to be taken up by the blood in capillaries beneath the skin. So that means that these weird salamanders are limited to where they can live – moist, damp places are the best.

These creatures also have an adaptation known as direct development in which the entire metamorphosis process is skipped. Eggs are laid with virtually miniature versions of the adults inside. Then they hatch cute as a button and fully developed! Cool beans.