Protective Salamander Mom Keeps Watchful Eye On Her Babies
Animal moms do some pretty amazing things. Opossum mothers are like walking school buses, ferrying up to 15 kids at a time on their backs, and emperor penguins hike 50 miles to feed their little chicks. And there's the octopus who guarded her eggs for four and a half years. This arboreal salamander didn't need to stay by her eggs for quite that long, but her two-and-a-half-month-long dedication made for some heart-warming amphibian footage:
Though the IUCN lists these amphibians as a species of "least concern," they're not without threats to their wild habitats; the removal of California's oaks and sycamores, for example, limits the logs under which the salamanders can hide out.
Arboreal salamanders are unusual amphibians, popping out of their eggs looking like miniaturized adults (unlike frogs, for example, who have a tadpole stage). Check out the whole footage below: