Japanese giant salamanders can grow up to 1.5m long, and are the second largest salamanders in the world. They can survive for weeks without eating, owing to their very slow metabolism.
Scientific name: Andrias japonicus
Night-hunting amphibians stalk in freshwater streams.
These huge salamanders are easily disturbed and very sensitive to camera lights. This rarely-filmed fish hunting behaviour was shot using a flexible high-definition polecam and with the HD camera in an underwater housing. The cameraman had to wear an awkward dry suit to withstand the freezing temperatures and anchor himself in the fast-flowing river with a grappling hook.
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
The Japanese giant salamander can be found in a number of locations including: Asia. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.
The following habitats are found across the Japanese giant salamander distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Population trend: Decreasing
Year assessed: 2004
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus) is endemic to Japan, where it is known as Ōsanshōuo (オオサンショウウオ/大山椒魚?), literally meaning "giant pepper fish". With a length of up to almost 1.5 m (5 ft), it is the second-largest salamander in the world, only being surpassed by the very similar and closely related Chinese giant salamander (A. davidianus).
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