In a small area of the exhibition displaying amphibians there are represented members of all three orders of these animals, namely limbless amphibians (caecilians), caudates (hellbenders, various salamanders), and the most numerous anurans (toads, frogs, etc.).
The stuffed giant salamander
In general, these are not the most visible and not very big creatures, which are usually paid little attention. One of the largest among them is the Japanese giant salamander, usually reaching 145-160 cm in length. It lives in Japan, in the mountain rivers and streams, became very rare because of predation for delicious meat, and now it is listed in the International Red Data Book.
Other caudateamphibian, the Siberian salamander, appeared to be a subject of zoological sensational about half a century ago. Geologists working in the Magadan region extracted these animals from the permafrost (the age of the ice was about 100 years) - and they thawed out and began to move, thus demonstrating an ability to preserve viability for quite a long time!
Among the anurans (i.e. tailless amphibians), the shrub frog is to be noted for its ability to stand-gliding at a distance of 10-12 m due to presence of webbing between the fingers, which surface can reach 20 sq cm. This small frog lives in trees, deftly jumping from branch to branch and keep on the tree leaves by means of the suctorial discs on its fingers. The shrub frog’s eggs are laid down in a special frothy nest in a convolute leaf, where the larvae undergone initial development, and thereafter they “drop out” into a pond where tadpoles finish their metamorphosis to turn into adult frogs. This particular species is distributed from India and S China to the Philippines.
At last, there the bullfrog is displayed to show one of the largest anurans reaching more than 20 cm in length and weighting up to 1.5 kilos. Its mails use to utter very loud noises resembling those of the bull, so there “choral singing” during mating season can be heard over kilometers. Their meat is eatable, so a huge amount of them is hunted in nature or is produced on the farms in USA.