Wednesday, February 3, 2010

water puppies



When we were kids we used to find giant water puppies in a tributary of Arroyo Creek in Lagunitas. They were huge, the size of large cats. Our water puppies on the slopes of Mt. Barnabe came in varying shades of brown and russet. We called them moving poops (we were very young). They were quite scary as we'd never seen anything like them before—and we thought we knew the woods and creeks like the back of our hands.

Unfortunately, the lone boy among us, Eric, stoned some of them them to death. They couldn't move very fast on land, I always felt so bad about that incident—as they were quite rare in West Marin!

Wiki link has a photo of a rather cute one. Ours were fiercely ugly. Now I get why they're called water puppies/dogs. They must've barked at us.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_giant_salamander

Abetter Wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Giant_Salamander

But ours were much stouter (hence the poopy name) —these salamanders are more svelte. Like Twiggy!

February 3, 2010

Close encounters with Japan's 'living fossil'
 

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