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TrivediScience
Post  Post subject: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:17 am

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Giant ancient salamander was bigger than a human

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Before dinosaurs came along, one of Earth’s top predators was a salamander like amphibian that lived in tropical areas of the supercontinent Pangaea. I recently found this news on http://news.sciencemag.org/paleontology ... gger-human


I didn't listened about Salamander before that, what exactly that was.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:22 pm
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i absolutely detest this type of news reporting - granted that you want to convey that it was an amphibian, but to call a Metoposaur a salamander ?

i prefer my taxonomy to be as exact as possible, and to equate a Temnospondyl with a Lissamphibian just is not on : the first is the remnants of a long-lived line of mainly Carboniferous to Triassic amphibians, the latter are modern amphibians with no known ancestor more recent than the Jurassic
for all we know some Temnospondyls may have been ancestral to the line that led up to the lissamphibians, but that doesn't make Metoposaurs salamanders

likewise for the Carolina butcher "crocodile" : the animal in question is a Rauisuchian, which makes it a crocodylomorph, not a crocodile - all the name crocodylomorph means is that it has the type of ankle structure that is similar to that of crocodiles, and which means they're not on the same lineage as the dinosaurs

makes them grand-uncles of crocodiles at best, but not really crocodiles (which at the time were mostly slender bipedal animals like Terrestrisuchus, and only took up the nich we're familiar right now when the phytosaurs of late Triassic fame snuffed it)

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:22 pm
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You're so cute marnix when you get worked up. ;)

I would like to leave you in a room full of cross-disciplinary library books and watch you break into a sweat when classifying them.

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:22 pm
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when it comes to libraries, there is no true natural classification, so it doesn't really matter what classification you decide upon
life, however, is different : there was one true chain from ancestor to descendants, and classification aims to reflect this one true picture - that's why it matters

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:28 am
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I know it matters, I just like to see you passionate

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:04 pm
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Devil's advocate here (and thinking of the "average" member of our society) - What if using the correct terminology turns people away? While most everyone has heard of a salamander and may have their interest piqued at such a headline, not everyone has heard of a Metoposaur and may not even realize this is something they'd be interested in reading.

I get annoyed by our "click-bait" style of reporting in modern times, and I must say this reminds me of it, but perhaps calling it a salamander brought it into the awareness of a larger population? Maybe there's a silver lining?

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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:45 pm
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i'm sure professional paleontologists get even more annoyed by it than i am

for instance Michael Benton (of "When life nearly died" fame) was interviewed for a documentary about Lystrosaurus which in the early triassic was ubiquitous, and loosely described it as "something like a Triassic pig in appearance"

when the documentary came he found to his horror that it had been re-titled "When pigs ruled the earth", which was then taken up by the Sunday Times who interpreted it as real pigs being enormously successful in the early triassic

in his words "On the day after the film was shown, I encountered withering looks of pity from colleagues and students alike." - probably in future he'll want more influence over the final product

forgive me if this is not likely to mix up the uninformed even more, and aid creationists who still believe that humans and dinosaurs were contemporaneous

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:13 pm
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Marnix is correct, modern amphibians are an off shoot of the tree of life that occurred well before the main trunk went on to branch out amphibian like things that eventually gave rise to anapsids, synapsids, and diapsids. A side note here for those of you interested in cryptids there have been reports of giant size salamander like animals in the Western hemisphere in cold remote lakes, one in northern California. Although the evidence is weak such an animal makes sense since it would occupy an ecological niche similar to what alligators occupy in warmer areas. Of course in Asia there really are giant salamanders but I am not sure about their ecological roles..


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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:04 pm
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Moontanman wrote:
Marnix is correct, modern amphibians are an off shoot of the tree of life that occurred well before the main trunk went on to branch out amphibian like things that eventually gave rise to anapsids, synapsids, and diapsids. A side note here for those of you interested in cryptids there have been reports of giant size salamander like animals in the Western hemisphere in cold remote lakes, one in northern California. Although the evidence is weak such an animal makes sense since it would occupy an ecological niche similar to what alligators occupy in warmer areas. Of course in Asia there really are giant salamanders but I am not sure about their ecological roles..

The other problem with giant crytpids is that they are shown to not exist. This is based on the size a viable population would need to be (~1000 individuals for a very bottled necked species) makes not finding a specimen so improbable that they are ruled out as real.

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:28 pm
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paleoichneum wrote:
Moontanman wrote:
Marnix is correct, modern amphibians are an off shoot of the tree of life that occurred well before the main trunk went on to branch out amphibian like things that eventually gave rise to anapsids, synapsids, and diapsids. A side note here for those of you interested in cryptids there have been reports of giant size salamander like animals in the Western hemisphere in cold remote lakes, one in northern California. Although the evidence is weak such an animal makes sense since it would occupy an ecological niche similar to what alligators occupy in warmer areas. Of course in Asia there really are giant salamanders but I am not sure about their ecological roles..

The other problem with giant crytpids is that they are shown to not exist. This is based on the size a viable population would need to be (~1000 individuals for a very bottled necked species) makes not finding a specimen so improbable that they are ruled out as real.



Actually in the areas of northern lakes very few people would ever interact with them, the idea that several have been seen would suggest a reasonable sized population in these northern lakes and swamps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cczHf1giwaU


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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:05 pm
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Moontanman wrote:
paleoichneum wrote:
Moontanman wrote:
Marnix is correct, modern amphibians are an off shoot of the tree of life that occurred well before the main trunk went on to branch out amphibian like things that eventually gave rise to anapsids, synapsids, and diapsids. A side note here for those of you interested in cryptids there have been reports of giant size salamander like animals in the Western hemisphere in cold remote lakes, one in northern California. Although the evidence is weak such an animal makes sense since it would occupy an ecological niche similar to what alligators occupy in warmer areas. Of course in Asia there really are giant salamanders but I am not sure about their ecological roles..

The other problem with giant crytpids is that they are shown to not exist. This is based on the size a viable population would need to be (~1000 individuals for a very bottled necked species) makes not finding a specimen so improbable that they are ruled out as real.



Actually in the areas of northern lakes very few people would ever interact with them, the idea that several have been seen would suggest a reasonable sized population in these northern lakes and swamps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cczHf1giwaU

Define "reasonable size" with regard to a viable breading population. Keep in mind what I already said about ~1000 individuals is VERY bottlenecked. Also keep in mind that most large amphibians do not survive protracted cold snaps well, and there is no fossil record of them in the Neogene at least

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:23 pm
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Quote:
Quote:
Actually in the areas of northern lakes very few people would ever interact with them, the idea that several have been seen would suggest a reasonable sized population in these northern lakes and swamps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cczHf1giwaU

Define "reasonable size" with regard to a viable breading population. Keep in mind what I already said about ~1000 individuals is VERY bottlenecked. Also keep in mind that most large amphibians do not survive protracted cold snaps well, and there is no fossil record of them in the Neogene at least


Have you ever heard of hibernation? These salamanders live in very cold water and have been caught while ice fishing, they are most active in cold water, I have a mudpuppy in an aquarium here in the room with me, I have been thinking of catching a hellbender which is much larger than a mudpuppy and also live in very cold water, trout streams mostly...


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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:37 pm
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Moontanman wrote:
paleoichneum wrote:
Moontanman wrote:
Actually in the areas of northern lakes very few people would ever interact with them, the idea that several have been seen would suggest a reasonable sized population in these northern lakes and swamps.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cczHf1giwaU

Define "reasonable size" with regard to a viable breading population. Keep in mind what I already said about ~1000 individuals is VERY bottlenecked. Also keep in mind that most large amphibians do not survive protracted cold snaps well, and there is no fossil record of them in the Neogene at least


Have you ever heard of hibernation? These salamanders live in very cold water and have been caught while ice fishing, they are most active in cold water, I have a mudpuppy in an aquarium here in the room with me, I have been thinking of catching a hellbender which is much larger than a mudpuppy and also live in very cold water, trout streams mostly...

You seem to be missing the point, the simple population size that would be needed to maintain a species precludes them not being discovered, and makes them much more susceptible to temperature extremes.

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Strange
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:31 pm
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marnixR wrote:
when it comes to libraries, there is no true natural classification, so it doesn't really matter what classification you decide upon
life, however, is different : there was one true chain from ancestor to descendants, and classification aims to reflect this one true picture - that's why it matters


What about hybridization and horizontal gene transfer ... and ring species and ... Come on, face it. Life is messy. :)


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:12 pm
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True, but for all the messiness, it's surprising how the overall picture is clear about lines of descent when it comes to multicellular life

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:56 pm
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paleoichneum wrote:
Define "reasonable size" with regard to a viable breading population. Keep in mind what I already said about ~1000 individuals is VERY bottlenecked. Also keep in mind that most large amphibians do not survive protracted cold snaps well, and there is no fossil record of them in the Neogene at least


Interesting since there are extant giant salamanders today!

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You seem to be missing the point, the simple population size that would be needed to maintain a species precludes them not being discovered, and makes them much more susceptible to temperature extremes.


What temperature extremes? The great white north contains many lakes, many of which are seldom visited by humans and even if you were to fly there and walk around looking at the lake salamanders, being mostly nocturnal as well as highly cryptic would make them very difficult to find, few people swim in the freezing temps of those lakes and fishermen seldom fish for salamanders. For such a habitat and cryptic lives combined with the isolation of those lakes it seems reasonable that few have been seen...

Back to the temperature thing, please elaborate...


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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:51 pm
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"Giant" is very small compared to the Permian and carboniferous amphibians in the opening article.

We have evidence of all larger mammals in the higher boreal regions. Sightings only are not what would be expected from a thriving population of Permian size amphibians.

What is the farthest north/South latitude that larger amphibians are found?

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:05 pm
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paleoichneum wrote:
"Giant" is very small compared to the Permian and carboniferous amphibians in the opening article.

We have evidence of all larger mammals in the higher boreal regions. Sightings only are not what would be expected from a thriving population of Permian size amphibians.

What is the farthest north/South latitude that larger amphibians are found?



Giant is huge compared to known amphibians, as far as I know as long as the pond or lake doesn't freeze to the bottom every year they would be ok


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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:30 pm
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That is a non-answer though. Define giant.


Also what is the furthest northern/southern large amphibians known now?


Also how do low diversity boreal lakes,support the feeding of over 1000 "giant" amphibians?

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:59 am
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paleoichneum wrote:
That is a non-answer though. Define giant.


Also what is the furthest northern/southern large amphibians known now?


Also how do low diversity boreal lakes,support the feeding of over 1000 "giant" amphibians?


A salamander much longer than any in North America would be what I am talking about something along the lines of the chinese and japanese "giant" salamanders.

Amphibians do quite well in areas like northern canada, in fact (and it may be anecdotal) the largest or most of the largest occur in cold areas. I see no reason why they would be limited to one lake or that they couldn't move from lake to another in summer over the swampy ground that separates these lakes,

The giant salamander reported from California has no positive evidence of it's existence but it does purportedly live in cold mountains streams and ponds.

Do you have a citation that northern lakes have low diversity?

Now what I proposed was pure speculation tied to the sightings and the possibility based on extant giant salamanders.

I have reports of very large salamanders from Ohio to the taiga forests of the north, the problem is that these areas are so remote and hostile even native Americans seldom venture into these places, it's very difficult to go to these lakes. At least one sighting was from a light plane flying over the area.

I have to ask, are you suggesting that amphibians do not live where it is cold? If so you are mistaken in fact amphibians are quite common in cold areas, unlike reptiles that need to heat up to be active, amphibian metabolism is slow and more like fish that come from cold water areas. Hellbenders are found in cold trout streams but do not occur in warmer water streams...

BTW where i live we have sirens that are close to 4 feet long, large amphibians are not just speculation they exist, my question is could they exist in those northern lakes and so far I can find no reason why they couldn't, doesn't mean there are but I thought the sightings were worthy of investigation or at least interesting enough to speculate about...

When you say low diversity in these lakes please elaborate.


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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:55 pm
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You have yet to define what you mean, in actual dimensions, who big "much larger" is.

Low diversity of boreal areas is quite well documented, Take a look at the works "Why are mountain passes higher in the tropics" By Janzen and "Were mountain passes higher in the Eocene" by Archibald for coverage of diversitry trends.

A stable healthy population of huge amphibians would devastate lake ecology due to the amount of prey needed.

Add to that the utter lack of any fossil evidence for giant amphibians past the Permian extinction event, the loss of giant insect prey, and the dramatic drop in CO2 levels in the atmosphere that supported them.

Sightings with NO photographic or physical evidence are most likely logs or other floating debris to be honest.

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:29 pm
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paleoichneum wrote:
You have yet to define what you mean, in actual dimensions, who big "much larger" is.

Low diversity of boreal areas is quite well documented, Take a look at the works "Why are mountain passes higher in the tropics" By Janzen and "Were mountain passes higher in the Eocene" by Archibald for coverage of diversitry trends.

A stable healthy population of huge amphibians would devastate lake ecology due to the amount of prey needed.

Add to that the utter lack of any fossil evidence for giant amphibians past the Permian extinction event, the loss of giant insect prey, and the dramatic drop in CO2 levels in the atmosphere that supported them.

Sightings with NO photographic or physical evidence are most likely logs or other floating debris to be honest.



There are giant extant salamanders today, there are very large fish in those lakes and the ecology to support them. I see no reason why salamanders big as lake trout couldn't live there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_trout

I think the problem we are having is one of perception, you are thinking Godzilla and I am thinking of real animals...

Here is a real giant salamander:

Image


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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:15 am
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This thread was started in regards to tropical Permian giant amphibians. Your first post here made the implication of animals that same size.

The three giant salamander species living prefer swift moving shallow waters, and at least the Japanese and Hellbenders have not gills to support good gas exchange. As such they do not do well in the stagnant water conditions that would prevail in a frozen over boreal lake.

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:34 pm
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paleoichneum wrote:
This thread was started in regards to tropical Permian giant amphibians. Your first post here made the implication of animals that same size.

The three giant salamander species living prefer swift moving shallow waters, and at least the Japanese and Hellbenders have not gills to support good gas exchange. As such they do not do well in the stagnant water conditions that would prevail in a frozen over boreal lake.



The lakes you describe as stagnant support large populations of Lake Trout, cold water carries much more oxygen than warm water, I see no reason to assume those lakes are stagnant, they have a complete turnover of the water twice a year and high winds to mix them up during the summer. Of course I understand that large extant salamanders are not the direct descendants of any Permian amphibians and very well maybe new comers to the tree of life having evolved from small salamanders instead of being hold overs from the Permian...

It has always interested me that many animal body shapes are selected for over and over for similar ecological niches. At one time amphibians occupied a similar ecological role to alligators and since some modern aquatic amphibians do well in cold water, it seems reasonable to me that amphibians might do the same in modern times in areas where crocodiles cannot live due to cold.

If you took away that I was talking about Permian amphibians I apologize.


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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:23 am
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4 to 6 months of being fully iced over with no inflow or contact with the atmosphere results in stagnation and/or anoxic conditions, conditions that the hellbender family of amphibians are not compatible with.

You are tilting at windmills trying to justify your want of a large cryptic species.

The furthest north that the hellbender family gets is about 40 degrees north latitude and the highest is very rare sightings in free flowing shallow streams of about 4000'

Add to that the last ice age would have wiped out any large species out.

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:50 am
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paleoichneum wrote:
4 to 6 months of being fully iced over with no inflow or contact with the atmosphere results in stagnation and/or anoxic conditions, conditions that the hellbender family of amphibians are not compatible with.


Lake Trout are not compatible with anoxic water either'


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You are tilting at windmills trying to justify your want of a large cryptic species.


Throttle back there a bit, I have no interest in that hunt, I learned a great many years ago the universe doesn't care what I want, I had simply noted a curiosity.

Quote:
The furthest north that the hellbender family gets is about 40 degrees north latitude and the highest is very rare sightings in free flowing shallow streams of about 4000'

Add to that the last ice age would have wiped out any large species out.



I am not talking about hellbenders, could be of the external gill variety for all I know. They might not be closely related to any extant amphibians in fact i am not asserting anything about them other than some one claims to have seen one and then wondering about the claims. I do not support or reject the existence of such a salamander, I was simply speculating, I do know your understanding of evolution and geology is minimal due to this statement:

"Add to that the last ice age would have wiped out any large species out."

While I do not care whether or not unknown species of amphibians reside in northern lakes it is obvious that you are uncomfortable with the idea of large unknown animals...


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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:36 am
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What is the typical size of a boreal Lake trout? (not a southern range one)

How specicifically do you draw the conclusion that I have limited geology knowledge based of my observation that what amphibian species which lived in Miocene and Pliocene Boreal areas did not survive the Ice age.

Also what makes you think I am afraid of the idea of large cryptids?

you seem to care a bit, having raised the possibility of them in a thread that was not at all related, and since you continue to dodge the logical reasons that they are not likely.

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 10:34 pm
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paleoichneum wrote:
What is the typical size of a boreal Lake trout? (not a southern range one)

How specicifically do you draw the conclusion that I have limited geology knowledge based of my observation that what amphibian species which lived in Miocene and Pliocene Boreal areas did not survive the Ice age.

Also what makes you think I am afraid of the idea of large cryptids?

you seem to care a bit, having raised the possibility of them in a thread that was not at all related, and since you continue to dodge the logical reasons that they are not likely.



A logical reason is not that they were wiped out by the ice age, both flora and fauna retreat and advance as ice caps do the same. Do you have any ideas of where the giant species of salamander that are extant came from? You are aware that fossils represent a small number of the actual diversity in any given area?

Lake trout in those areas commonly get to the 4 and 5 foot range...


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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 4:30 am
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Im a paleontologist by trade (or at least was for a number of years). There is no evidence for giant salamanders, and you have yet to provide anything resembling compelling.

Amphibians are severely susceptible to climate shifts. Per your own statement, the only logical family that a "giant" species would belong to, is NOT found in northern boreal regions to begin with, and as you keep dodging, no large amphibians are found in northern or southern boreal regions. The largest fossil species are only found in tropical deposits.

The evidence is NOT there, and if there are sightings then ther should be specimens by now, the continent is becoming much to crowded for there not to have been.

I asked for the size of northern boreal lake specimens, what is your citation for 4-5' in northern boreal specimens?

You have also not answered by question regarding your assertion that I do not know geology or biology.

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Moontanman
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:11 pm
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paleoichneum wrote:
Im a paleontologist by trade (or at least was for a number of years). There is no evidence for giant salamanders, and you have yet to provide anything resembling compelling.

Amphibians are severely susceptible to climate shifts. Per your own statement, the only logical family that a "giant" species would belong to, is NOT found in northern boreal regions to begin with, and as you keep dodging, no large amphibians are found in northern or southern boreal regions. The largest fossil species are only found in tropical deposits.

The evidence is NOT there, and if there are sightings then ther should be specimens by now, the continent is becoming much to crowded for there not to have been.

I asked for the size of northern boreal lake specimens, what is your citation for 4-5' in northern boreal specimens?

You have also not answered by question regarding your assertion that I do not know geology or biology.


I was under the impression that flora and fauna followed the ice sheets as they expanded and contracted, if amphibians are different then I have no foot to stand on.

Ok, you win, I really don't have anything invested in this idea, I have no expertise other than collecting specimens with a scientist friend of mine, occasionally, very occasionally, the subject of such cryptids comes up and why people claim such things. I have managed to find a few old reports from before the US was a country and trying to figure out what was really seen interests me.

The 4 to 5' was the size of lake trout in those northern lakes (actually if you believe the fishermen lake trout in that area can get to be 12' long but I have my doubts for sure), 4' to 5' is also the size of extant "giant" salamanders we know of, the part of the continent I am talking about is far from crowded, the lakes are only visited by airplane, no roads go there.

And no for the record I do not give bigfoot any credence at all...

I simply found it interesting that these giant salamanders have been reported by people and that such salamanders do exist in other parts of the world.


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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:10 am
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Moontanman wrote:
I was under the impression that flora and fauna followed the ice sheets as they expanded and contracted, if amphibians are different then I have no foot to stand on.


Flora and fauna do follow the expansion and contraction of ice sheets, however in many cases the ice sheets pushed too far south that it completely removed the habitable range for some species. Not all species are flexible enough to survive Ice ages. This is why you find fossil evidence of plants in North America that now only grow in Asia. They were unable to survive the expansion of the ice sheets here in NA, but managed to hang on in Asia.

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:35 am
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Moontanman wrote:
I was under the impression that flora and fauna followed the ice sheets as they expanded and contracted, if amphibians are different then I have no foot to stand on.
<...>
I simply found it interesting that these giant salamanders have been reported by people and that such salamanders do exist in other parts of the world.

I wish more people would respond like this and acknowledge their curiosity and interest while in parallel also not going full crackpot or being obstinate. Thanks for setting such a good example, Moontanman.

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paleoichneum
Post  Post subject: Re: News About Salamander  |  Posted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:43 pm
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Well said falconer, flora and fauna survival is fully depended on mobility of the species, and rapidity of the changes. Many plants and animals, especially habitat dependent or specialized ones, are not able to escape changes. See the North American mammoths for example. Evidence us,showing that they were already in critical status when humans arrived and added,major predation pressure

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