27 October 2014

Salamander traffic jam

Posted because this photo brings back pleasant memories of my childhood in Minnesota.  Every fall tiger salamanders by the dozens would accumulate at the base of our outside basement stairwell.  It was my not unpleasant chore as a youngster to corral them before they desiccated, and transfer them back to the nearby woods.

Photo of ringed salamanders from the Missouri Department of Conservation, via Nothing To Do With Arbroath.


  1. Please explain! What's going on? Why are they behaving like this? Anyway. Fascinating.

    1. Come breeding season, the salamanders make their way from the woods to the local ponds. They never evolved to deal with cement stairs and road curbs, so they get trapped. Due to habitat loss, all the spotted salamanders in my area have disappeared. Prior to that, they would migrate by the thousands to get to the local ponds.


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