Lucas and I went adventuring today and found a couple of northern redback salamanders (Plethodon c. cinereus). There was a bunch of broken glass in the area we found the first little guy in, so his tail somehow got cut off in the process of us finding him, but the second little cutie was fully intact.
They’re carnivorous amphibians that prey on worms, insects, spiders, and small mollusks. Considering it is where their prey is found, they spend most of their time in dark, damp forested areas, such as among leaf litter. They do not have lungs, but they breathe through their skin and mouth lining.
The bones of Ichthyostega (imagined by an artist in this picture), the most thoroughly studied of all early tetrapods, were first discovered on an east Greenland mountainside in 1897 by Swedish scientists looking for three explorers lost two years earlier during an ill-fated attempt to reach the North Pole by hot-air balloon. Later expeditions by Gunnar Säve-Söderberg uncovered skulls of Ichthyostega but Säve-Söderberg died, at age 38, before he was able to make a thorough study of the skulls. His assistant, Erik Jarvik, picked up where he left off and most of what we know about Ichthyostega (and consequently most early tetrapods) today comes from their combined efforts.
Coming in an array of blues and greens, the green and black poison-dart frog (Dendrobates auratus) belongs to a family of nearly 180 species that includes some of the most poisonous amphibians in the world.
The Yucatan shovel-headed tree frog (Triprion petasatus) has adhesive disks on its toes that give indication of of its habitat. It lives in shrubs and trees that grow in grasslands. As an amphibian, its skin needs to stay moist for it to survive, so living in trees gives this frog the advantage of shade during dry weather. Its signature feature is its shovel-shaped head and flattened lips that look like a duck’s bill.