Amphibians are amazing animals, as they were the first vertebrates to colonize the mainland and they have extraordinary characteristics that make them special. If you are curious about this type of animal, in this article we focus on an amphibian that has a wide distribution in the Iberian Peninsula: the gallipato.
If you have never heard of this amphibian and you have just discovered it, from Ecologist Verde we explain what is a gallipato, its characteristics and curiosities about the species. Did you know that they are from the salamander family and are the largest amphibian in Europe? Read on and find out more!
Pleurodeles waltl (Michahelles, 1830), commonly known as gallipato, is the largest species of urodel amphibian that exists in Europe. As for the gallipato family, this amphibian is the largest representative of the Salamandridae family, that is, it is from the same family as salamanders.
Apart from the above, these are the main characteristics of gallipats:
It is a kind of Iber-Maghreb endemism, which is why it is widely distributed throughout the Iberian Peninsula, especially in the central and southern part, and with the exception of the northeastern area and the Cantabrian area, as well as living in the areas north and west of Morocco.
This species shows 2 phases throughout the year, one is terrestrial and the other is aquatic, with variations in the duration of each one. However, it is common to find them in humid areas and with nearby bodies of water, since they have a certain preference to reproduce in large and long-lasting aquatic areas, with stagnant waters with little current or absent, such as wells, cisterns, cisterns, abandoned pools and, less commonly, in fountains.
Are nocturnal animals and discreet, so during the day they tend to remain in hidden areas where they go unnoticed, while, with the arrival of night, they show greater activity, frequenting the shores and even land areas, but always near the water. During these hours, they are dedicated to looking for food, whether they are aquatic invertebrates or small vertebrates (amphibian larvae, fish, …) or, also, decomposing prey.
This animal has a skin repair or lung respiration, since it has lungs in adult phase, through which they take the necessary oxygen every time they reach the surface, especially in hot times.
Learn more about these types of respiration with these other Green Ecologist articles about 16 animals that breathe through the skin (skin respiration) and +105 animals that breathe through the lungs (lung respiration).
Once we have explained what are the characteristics of the gallipat and the qualities of its habitats, we focus on how gallipats reproduce:
To finish knowing these amphibians, we are going to comment on some of the curiosities of gallipatos. For example, despite the fact that at first glance it looks like a non-dangerous animal, we can wonder if gallipato is poisonous or not, since they have relatives who are. And the answer to this question is yes.
The strategy of defense of the gallipato it is very peculiar. This is based on the gallipato ribs; When potential predators of this species approach, bite or try to eat it, this amphibian projects the sharp ends of its ribs out of its body through glandular areas of its skin, which excrete toxins, so that it they turn into poisonous little needles. Thus, inject toxins in the mouth of the predator that has been able to bite them and causes their flight.
If you want to read more articles similar to Gallipato: what is it, characteristics and curiosities, we recommend that you enter our Wild Animals category.Bibliography