Relict of Glacial times - The Salamanders

















Production Unit: Taiwan Original Vision Communication Co., Ltd (TOV)
Organ: Forestry Bureau
Director: Xu Hong-Long
publishing Data:AD2012year May
Running Time:24:01


Four million years ago, Taiwan island started to uplift. Not until two million years ago had the island come out of water. For the past million years, the living creatures on the island have experienced many times of glacial and interglacial and evolved gradually. When the last glacial time ended, many liveing creatures moved to higher mountains and survive successfully. Among them, the salamanders are of most representative. The distribution is in Siberia, northeastern China, Korea, Japan and higher altitudes of Taiwan. And Taiwan is the south bound of their distribution.

Salamanders are misnamed  “fish” because they live near the waters. In fact, they are not fish, but a kind of endangered amphibians. Their permeable skin is the common feature of the amphibians. The larvae respire through gills and adults respire through lung and skin. This kind of life history makes them sensitive to any change of environment, becoming the environmental indicator species.

Climate changes endanger the salamanders. The conservation work becomes even difficult because they’re too rare to study, and inbreeding is common due to geographical isolation. Protection of habitats is important, but there are still many problems yet to be solved. These ancient lifes have been exist on the earth from the glacial time. Though seemed to be far from us, but in the meanwhile their destiny also reflect the human’s future life.