43SECRETIVE CREATURES OF THE SYDENHAM

Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)

This researcher holds a mudpuppy.
This researcher holds a mudpuppy.
This mysterious creature is very rarely seen, spending all of its time underneath the surface of the water, hiding in the pond weeds or under rocks. It can be found in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. Mudpuppies are usually active at night, when they search for their favorite foods: crayfish, tadpoles, worms and small fish.

Mudpuppies are members of the Salamander family and grow up to 25-30cm long. They are reddish-brown and have very dark black spots on their body. One of the unique features of the Mudpuppy is its external gills, which are red and feathery. What makes this unique is that no other salamander keeps its gills to adulthood.

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