Northwest Salamander

Also commonly known as the Northwest Brown Salamander, this fairly large member of the order Caudata is a species of the Ambystomatidae family. This family of amphibians are called mole salamanders due to their preference to burrow underground. Although they range from sea level up to 10,00 feet and are common here in the northwest, these big guys are not often seen, thanks, of course, to their underground, under everything preference. Although I’ve seen them on our property before, this particular specimen was a surprise. Doing some yard work right after our rare December snow season, and yet still in the middle of freezing temperatures, my wife discovered this one under a stack of leaves in our front yard. Somehow this animal had toughed it out and survived despite not being way underground. I have other photographs of a Northwest Salamander in my book “Let’s See What’s Under There.” That one is almost 10 inches long, so this one probably has some more growing to do. And I’ll do my best to make sure it gets there!

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