The montane forests of Western North Carolina provide excellent habitat for one of my favorite creatures: salamanders.
Unlike most other land creatures, salamanders don’t have lungs to breath, and must directly absorb oxygen through their wet skin. Because of this trait, they thrive in the humid environment of the mountains, especially underground or undercover. Though their reclusive habitats can make them difficult to find, there are over 50 species throughout the region and their combined biomass could in fact exceed that of birds and mammals here!
Read the rest on the LTER Network’s website!