Eurycea tridentifera has assimilated to the cave environment in which it resides. Theories suggest that these salamanders have adapted in their specific ways due to conservation of energy. Because they are cave-dwellers, many biological processes (for example, sight) are not needed as much as others (Miller 2014). These organisms have evolved in ways which help them thrive in their habitat.


Body Shape 
The Comal blind salamander is a smaller-sized salamander with bilateral symmetry, and only grow up to about 8.5cm in length (Herps). They have a small, slim body shape, and a proportionally big head which slopes down into a snout-like nose. Being part of the Amphibia class distinguishes this salamanders four limbs, and the order Caudata distinguishes its tail.

The skin surrounding this ectothermic amphibian is porous, slimy, and lacks pigment which gives off a translucent yellow color. These features help the salamander glide through water effortlessly and nearly unseen by predators.

The eyes of the Comal blind salamander are small and set below the skin surface. The eyes are present, however since this salamander lives in complete darkness, they have evolved blindness--allowing this developmental energy previously used on eyesight to be used elsewhere during the growth process.

Circulatory System 
The larvae of Eurycea tridentifera have gills. This is because the larvae are laid in the water pools around the caves. However, as they grow into an adult, additional lungs are developed due to the organisms movement out of the cave waters and onto the cave rocks.

Due to the aphotic environment in which the Comal blind salamander resides, eyesight was lost, but other sensory adaptations were gained (Encyclopedia of Life). These creatures have increased hearing and smell, and can detect even miniscule amounts electricity and pressure around them. This helps the salamander find food, and stay away from predatory danger.

Another organism with very similar adaptations to the Comal blind salamander is the Texas blind salamander.

Previous Page: Habitat

Next Page: Nutrition

Lost? Go Home