Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

It’s not the size of the salamander, it’s the size of the fight in the salamander

Date:
December 6, 2010
Source:
Allen Press Publishing Services
Summary:
Don't get between a salamander and her eggs. The concept usually applies to a mother bear and her cubs, but it rings true for this small amphibian as well -- particularly as the eggs get closer to hatching. A study has found that female salamanders grow more aggressive in defending their nests as their eggs mature. Other factors, including the size of the mother, were insignificant.

Don't get between a salamander and her eggs. The concept usually applies to a mother bear and her cubs, but it rings true for this small amphibian as well -- particularly as the eggs get closer to hatching. A study has found that female salamanders grow more aggressive in defending their nests as their eggs mature. Other factors, including the size of the mother, were insignificant.

Related Articles


An article in the December 2010 issue of the journal Herpetologica describes the behavior of the eastern red-backed salamander, found in forests of North America. The females proved to be more vigorous about guarding clutches of eggs than territory or food.

The study was conducted in a laboratory setting, using wild salamanders caught in New Hampshire. Female salamanders and their nests of eggs were "threatened" by the introduction of a nonbrooding female salamander for 15-minute intervals.

While the first reaction of many mothers was to curl tightly around their eggs to protect them, substantially more aggressive behavior toward the intruder followed. In many instances, nudging, chasing, and snapping behaviors eventually gave way to repeatedly biting the intruder.

The female red-backed salamander may reproduce only every two years because of the substantial energy required to produce and attend her clutch. As the eggs become more viable, the mother's protection increases. The research found that mothers were more aggressive in defending their six-week old eggs than their four-week old eggs.

At the same time, the number of eggs in the nest and the size of the mother did not appear to make a difference in her aggression. These salamanders have the ability to recognize the developmental stage of their eggs, or at least are able to determine the amount of time that has passed since they laid their eggs. The older the brood, the more likely it is to survive to hatching, making it more important to the mother.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Allen Press Publishing Services. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jan K. Tornick. Factors Affecting Aggression During Nest Guarding in the Eastern Red-Backed Salamander (Plethodon Cinereus). Herpetologica, Volume 66, Issue 4, December 2010

Cite This Page:

Allen Press Publishing Services. "It’s not the size of the salamander, it’s the size of the fight in the salamander." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101203164359.htm>.
Allen Press Publishing Services. (2010, December 6). It’s not the size of the salamander, it’s the size of the fight in the salamander. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101203164359.htm
Allen Press Publishing Services. "It’s not the size of the salamander, it’s the size of the fight in the salamander." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101203164359.htm (accessed April 24, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 24, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dispute Flares Over Controversial Thai Temple Tigers

Dispute Flares Over Controversial Thai Temple Tigers

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) Thai wildlife officials begin a headcount of nearly 150 tigers kept by monks at a temple which has become the centre of a dispute over the welfare of the animals. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
College Kegger: University Gets in on Craft Brew

College Kegger: University Gets in on Craft Brew

AP (Apr. 24, 2015) Theres never been a shortage of beer on college campuses. But students at Cal Poly-Pomona are learning how to brew, serving their product to classmates, and hoping to land jobs in craft breweries when they graduate. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cambodian Butterflies Help Villagers Make a Living

Cambodian Butterflies Help Villagers Make a Living

AFP (Apr. 24, 2015) Cambodia&apos;s Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre is the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia. As well as educating tourists about the creatures, it also offers a source of income to nearby villagers, who are paid to breed local species. Duration: 02:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

3D Food Printing: The Meal of the Future?

AP (Apr. 23, 2015) Developers of 3D food printing hope the culinary technology will revolutionize the way we cook and eat. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins