Mudpuppy Facts

Mudpuppy Facts
Mudpuppy is a type of aquatic salamander. It is also known as a water dog. Mudpuppy can be found in Central Canada, Midwest America, Mississippi, Georgia and Carolina. It spends its entire life in lakes, streams or muddy waters. Mudpuppy is threatened by water pollution and habitat destruction. Also, mudpuppy can be caught in fishing nets by accident. Except minor decline in number of mudpuppies in certain populations, they are not listed as endangered species.
Interesting Mudpuppy Facts:
Mudpuppy is a large salamander. Adult mudpuppies can reach between 8 and 13 inches in length.
Body of mudpuppy is usually grey, brownish-grey or rust-brown in color, covered in bluish or grey spots. Underside of the body is grey and it can be covered with dark spots.
Surface of mudpuppy's body is covered with protective slime. Mudpuppy has flat head with small eyes and large mouth. Its body is thick; legs are short and equipped with clawless toes. Mudpuppy has wide tail.
Mudpuppy is named that way because it produces loud squeaks which sound like barking of a dog.
Mudpuppy breathes using the gills because it spends its entire life in the water. Gills could be easily recognized due to distinctive, red color and bushy appearance. They are located on the both sides of the neck.
Mudpuppy does not have constant temperature. Its body temperature depends on the temperature of the environment. These types of animals are known as cold-blooded.
Unlike other salamanders, mudpuppy does not have poison in its skin that can be used against the predators. Instead, mudpuppy needs to hide in the case of danger.
Main predators of mudpuppy are birds, large fish and snakes.
Mudpuppy is a carnivore (meat-eaters). It feeds on different types of water invertebrates (crayfish, snails and worms), other salamanders and eggs of various water organisms.
Mudpuppy has poorly developed eyesight. It is able to detect prey by using well developed sense of smell.
Mudpuppies that live in dark, murky waters are active during the whole day. Mudpuppies which live in clear water are active during the night, while they hide during the day in the aquatic vegetation or between rocks.
Mudpuppies can dive to the depth of 120 feet. They are active throughout the whole year (they do not hibernate).
Mating season takes place late in the autumn and early in the winter. Males perform special dancing ritual that precedes release of sperm packages. Females will collect sperm packages and lay between 18 and 180 eggs in the underwater burrows.
Unlike other salamanders, female mudpuppy takes care of eggs until the hatching. It usually takes between one and two months, depending on the water temperature. Young mudpuppies will reach adult stage at the age of 5 years.
Average lifespan of mudpuppy is 11 years in the wild.

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