About Me

My photo
I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ozark Zigzag

Along the trails, the Ozark Zigzag salamander has been spotted often in recent weeks under logs around the glade area at the Ozark Natural Science Center. This salamander is in the Plethodon family which is an amazing group of strange amphibians. They are lung-less salamanders that breath through their skin; therefore, they are very sensitive to pollution.  The Ozark Zigzag lays eggs in moist caverns or crevices deep in the earth. These eggs look like jelly marbles and are hung in a clear mucus-like sack suspended from the ceiling of their cavernous den. Parent salamanders stay with their eggs, watching over them until they are hatched.  When the offspring hatch they are not tadpoles like most amphibians; instead, they look like a smaller, baby version of their parents. Plethodons are unique among salamanders because their babies have no aquatic stage of life, defying the definition of amphibians!

No comments:

Post a Comment