Order caudata salamanders
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Order Caudata (Salamanders). Fred Searcy ZOO2010. Order Caudata (L caudatus = tail). Salamanders & Newts 360 species worldwide Temperate, tropical, subtropical Endangered. Structure. Usually < 15cm Japanese giant salamander 1.5 m

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Order Caudata (Salamanders)

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Order Caudata(Salamanders)

Fred Searcy

ZOO2010


Order Caudata(L caudatus = tail)

  • Salamanders & Newts

  • 360 species worldwide

  • Temperate, tropical, subtropical

  • Endangered


Structure

  • Usually < 15cm

  • Japanese giant salamander 1.5 m

  • Burrowing and aquatic forms may have rudimentary limbs or they may be missing

  • Terrestrial forms have limbs at right angles to the body


Nutrition

  • Carnivorous as larvae and adults

  • Protein rich

  • Fat & glycogen stored in small amounts

  • Most are opportunistic feeders but some actively search for prey

  • Teeth on upper and lower palate of mouth

  • Slow metabolism – less frequent eating required


Digestion

  • Large stomach proportional to body

  • Cardiac and pyloric sphincter

  • Pancreas

  • Liver

  • Gall bladder


Cardiovascular

  • Blood contains

    • Erythrocytes

    • Leucocytes

    • Thrombocytes

  • Circulatory System

    • Vessels

    • 3-chambered heart

    • Lymph

    • Lymph vessels


Respiration

  • Varied methods

    • Integument

    • External gills

    • Lungs

    • Both gills and lungs

    • Neither gills nor lungs (pull air across buccal vascular membranes of mouth)

  • Most have gills in larval stage

  • Some aquatic forms have no gills and must surface for air.


Urogenital System

  • Paired kidneys on either side of dorsal aorta

  • Bowman’s capsules present

  • Urinary bladder

  • Ammonia converted to urea

  • Some species convert urea to uric acid


Auditory & Vocal Functions

  • No ear drums, no middle ear cavity

  • Inner ear modified for sound perception

  • Lateral lines in larval and aquatic species (water current and pressure changes)


Skin, Pigmentation, Glands

  • Serous glands – may be toxic or noxious – some lethal

  • Concentrated behind head or in parotid gland (“warts”) on skin

  • Mucous glands

    • Keep skin moist

    • Prevent infections

    • Lubricate path through water

  • Chromatophores

    • Melanocytes

      • Cryptic coloration

      • Aposematic coloration (warning)

    • Iridophores

    • Xanthophores

    • Erythrophores


Thermoregulation and Metabolism

  • Poikilothermic (ectothermic)

  • Behavioral regulation


Aquatic species secrete pheromone

Some terrestrial species rub chins

Internal fertilization with spermatophore typical but some external fertilziation

Eggs layed in strings with gelatinous layer

Larva with gills & tails

Oviparous, viviparous, ovoviviparous

Breeding Behavior & Reproduction


Metamophrosis & Paedomorphosis

  • Some are aquatic throughout life and don’t undergo metamorphosis – they retain their gills as adults

  • Paedomorphism – adult retains some larval traits, e.g. gills

  • Necturus sexually mature in larval stage


Metamophrosis & Paedomorphosis

  • Ambystoma

    • Only change to adult under specific environmental conditions

      • E.g. pond dries up, change to adult

    • Larval form called axolotl

    • Can force metamorphosis by treating axolotl with thyroxine from thyroid gland


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