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What Is a Congress? A Group of Toxic, Cold-Blooded, Slimy Salamanders

These creatures are everywhere.
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What is a Congress? According to science, it’s a group of toxic, predatory, slimy salamanders.

Pretty much a cross between a fat worm and a slithery lizard, a salamander is actually an amphibian, not a reptile, despite appearances. Some have also described salamanders to look similar to eels.

Here are some quick facts about these slimy, cold-blooded creatures:

1| They’re flashy and toxic.

These lizard-like amphibians are often ostentatiously colored, with bright pigments that warn predators of their poisonous qualities. Salamanders secrete toxins through their skin, making them a less than ideal meal.

Due to their poisonous exterior, they’ve been known to taste bitter to those who dare eat them. Not all salamanders are poisonous. In fact, some species only possess flashy colors as a survival technique to protect them from predators and blend in with their more toxic brethren.

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2| They’re opportunistic but lazy.

As for their diet, salamanders could be considered lazy hunters or opportunistic predators. They will feed on almost any organism if they can fit it in their mouth, which is equipped with a fast tongue. 

However, they prefer slow-moving victims that make for an easy kill, like snails, worms, and slugs.

3| They make other animals vomit.

Thanks to their toxic nature, salamanders are a hardy group of creatures. If swallowed by a bigger, meaner predator, salamanders can survive up to 30 minutes after being swallowed as a meal. Luckily for salamanders, their repulsive poisons can make bigger animals throw up the contents of their stomachs, including the salamanders inside.

In fact, the word salamander comes from the Greek word for “fire lizard.” As the story goes, when ancient Greeks threw wood into their fires, salamanders would scurry out of the firewood they’d been hiding in.

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4| They can regrow body parts.

Salamanders can use autotomy, which is the ability to cut off a body part and grow it back. They do this to confuse and escape predators, usually by cutting off their own tail.

But salamanders can regenerate these lost body parts in just a few weeks, further proof of just how hardy this cold-blooded creature is.

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5| They’re everywhere.

These cold-blooded creatures have been around for millions of years, and continue to populate on every known continent except for Antarctica.

However, the largest salamander resides in China where the Chinese giant salamander can grow up to six feet long. These salamanders are sometimes hunted as a food source and are considered a delicacy in some areas.

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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