I know I know… you think your mommy is the best in the world! She surely is, but believe me or not, she’s in good company! There are lungless cave salamanders which can protect their eggs against fungi, bacteria and predators by standing, fighting and starving for no less than 9 months.
This is the time of the year when big masses of Amphibians in Europe gather to mate and breed.
All around us there are rather common species that can surprise and amaze! Common toads (Bufo bufo) are always been among my favorite animals. I was still a 7 years old child when I saw my first tadpoles ever, that I took home by exchanging them for a toy with a older boy in a small village called Mornese, in Northern Italy, where I passed all my summers.
There are some memorable days when some of your higher-ranked wishes on your “most wanted” list really happen. Among mine, I always dreamt to witness the live bearing of a fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) in the wild.
When some days ago I visited the local Apennine pond where thousands montane frogs (Rana temporaria) breed each year I couldn’t believe to my eyes.
Instead of seeing the amazing congregation I expected I discovered that the season had still to come, but it’s not all folks! Tens of them where laying dead in the bottom of the small portion of pond already free from snow and ice. The situation wasn’t really a nice one, but as a naturalist I perceived that something could be told about that.
A beautiful embryo of an arboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris) still growing inside the protective shell of the egg.