Eastern Europe's Convergent Example To The Axolotl

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klawnskale
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Eastern Europe's Convergent Example To The Axolotl

Post by klawnskale » February 12th, 2016, 5:19 pm

A fascinating cave dwelling amphibian….

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/06/scien ... p=cur&_r=3

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The Real Snake Man
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Re: Eastern Europe's Convergent Example To The Axolotl

Post by The Real Snake Man » February 13th, 2016, 12:30 am

Actually, I wouldn't describe Olms as being convergent with Axolotls much at all. The wild type Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are mottled brown, only certain captive morphs are white. Also, with the exception of the black-colored olm subspecies (Proteus anguinus parkelj), olms are white, blind cave-dwellers with elongated bodies. By contrast, Axolotls have eyes, pigmentation, and standard Ambystomid bodies (and historically lived in lakes). The only real similarities between the two are that they are neotenic, and that is a quality possessed by a great many salamanders. The only salamanders in North America that are really convergent with the Olm in any significant way are the following:

Eurycea rathbuni (Texas Blind Salamander)
Eurycea robusta (Blanco Blind Salamander)
Eurycea tridentifera (Comal Blind Salamander)
Eurycea wallacei (Georgia Blind Salamander)
Eurycea waterlooensis (Austin Blind Salamander)

These are all blind, virtually un-pigmented, neotenic cave-dwelling salamanders, all but one of which lives in the Edwards Aquifer area of central Texas. Also in central Texas are a multitude of other species of neotenic Eurycea salamanders. It's one of my favorite groups of animals. Anyway, sorry for the long-winded correction.

-Gene

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Martti Niskanen
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Re: Eastern Europe's Convergent Example To The Axolotl

Post by Martti Niskanen » February 13th, 2016, 3:01 am


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klawnskale
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Re: Eastern Europe's Convergent Example To The Axolotl

Post by klawnskale » February 13th, 2016, 7:49 am

The Real Snake Man wrote:Actually, I wouldn't describe Olms as being convergent with Axolotls much at all. The wild type Axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) are mottled brown, only certain captive morphs are white. Also, with the exception of the black-colored olm subspecies (Proteus anguinus parkelj), olms are white, blind cave-dwellers with elongated bodies. By contrast, Axolotls have eyes, pigmentation, and standard Ambystomid bodies (and historically lived in lakes). The only real similarities between the two are that they are neotenic, and that is a quality possessed by a great many salamanders. The only salamanders in North America that are really convergent with the Olm in any significant way are the following:

Eurycea rathbuni (Texas Blind Salamander)
Eurycea robusta (Blanco Blind Salamander)
Eurycea tridentifera (Comal Blind Salamander)
Eurycea wallacei (Georgia Blind Salamander)
Eurycea waterlooensis (Austin Blind Salamander)

These are all blind, virtually un-pigmented, neotenic cave-dwelling salamanders, all but one of which lives in the Edwards Aquifer area of central Texas. Also in central Texas are a multitude of other species of neotenic Eurycea salamanders. It's one of my favorite groups of animals. Anyway, sorry for the long-winded correction.

-Gene
Gene: no need to be sorry. It's nice to see someone enthusiastically informed about a unique group of animals. Many moons ago I recall seeing Texas Blind Cave Salamanders for sale in pet shops (giving away my age range here). Ofcourse I would imagine they are now protected. Frankly, I prefer chuckwallas myself as one of my favorite herps and they make excellent pets too!

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