There are several astounding facts about the tiger salamander. The first is that tiger salamander numbers declined dramatically 1993 and thenremained stable. This decline in population could have been the result of a pesticide called Atrazine which is used primarily to control weeds on corn, sugar cane and residential lawn.  Scientists have noticed that amphibians exposed to this herbicide developed deformed genitalia and  softer voice boxes making mating and calls and reproduction impossible. Tiger salamanders living in areas  exposed to atrazine have an increase to the Ambystoma tigrinum virus causing internal hemorrhaging and death.

Cannibal Morphs

Some larvae may become cannibalistic, and are termed "cannibal morphs." Compared to other larvae, these have larger heads, bigger mouths, and more well-developed teeth. This appears to occur when ponds start to dry up or other food becomes scarce. The cannibal morph larvae eat other tiger salamander larvae, grow faster, and metamorphose into adults earlier. An adult cannibal morph will retain the larger head and bigger mouth of the larvae.

 Why I Picked This Organism?

I picked this organism because these unique burrows they create where they live underground for most of their lives. In addition, I found the cannibalism of tiger salamanders as a response to a lack of food interesting. Lastly, I picked the tiger salamander because they make lovely house pets and even respond to stimulus, climbing up the cage when you approach.

To view a list of my references click here.

To go back and learn about the interactions of the tiger salamander with other organisms click here .

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