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  • (restless music)

  • - [Voiceover] This is a Japanese giant salamander.

  • It is massive.

  • This primeval amphibian can grow up to

  • five feet long and weigh over 50 pounds,

  • making it one of the largest salamanders

  • to ever crawl the face of the Earth.

  • Despite it's primitive look,

  • the Japanese giant salamander is highly evolved.

  • It is covered head to tail with specialized cells

  • that detect tiny vibrations in its environment.

  • When it detects a threat, it excretes

  • a strong-smelling ooze that smells like a Japanese pepper,

  • hence, its common Japanese name, giant pepper fish.

  • The Japanese giant salamander is entirely aquatic,

  • and spends its life in clear, cool flowing streams.

  • It has no gills, but instead

  • absorbs oxygen through its skin.

  • If left alone, the Japanese giant salamander

  • will live a long life.

  • This one is 26 years old, and in the wild

  • they can live to be nearly 80.

  • But pollution of its river habitat, and over collection,

  • are threatening this fascinating primordial creature.

  • This is the Japanese giant salamander.

  • (restless music)

(restless music)

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