Finally working on a larger personal project - drawing critters I saw in the Amazon early this year. I’ll be posting WIPs and other updates on my Patreon for $10+ patrons but here’s one sneak peek. This is a three-striped poison frog (Ameerega trivittatus).
Some photos of Gordon which shows off him in his breeding conditions right now. Males will develop a bit more of a wider tail for tail fanning as part of the mating process. Gerald has some signs but it not nearly as clear as Gordon.
some friendly axolotl people. They eat bland, soft foods, wear minimal but colorful clothes, and like pom-pom “jewelry” because it’s gentle against their delicate skin. They have lungs, but if they have to spend too much time away from water (like to go to a town farther inland), they wear wet veils over their heads to keep their gills damp longer.
The club is made from strong wood and shark teeth, and can be swung with one or two paws. These axolotl people are friendly, but they’re not pushovers.
hey, you wanna learn about the largest amphibian in the western hemisphere? you do?
then without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to
found in the eastern half of the United States, the Hellbender is a giant fucking salamander. they are the largest amphibian in the western hemisphere by a wide margin, with adults clocking in at around two… feet? (that definitely says feet. jesus) long.
large enough to use as a blunt instrument
no one is really sure how these giant salamanders earned the name “Hellbender”, but it is thought that white settlers thought it was “a creature from hell who was bent on returning”, or that its wrinkly skin reminded white settlers of “the horrible tortures of the infernal regions.” (white settlers should not have been allowed to name things.)
…all right, yeah, it does sort of look like it crawled out of a Bosch painting.
these days, locals just tend to give them endearing vernacular names like: Snot Otter! Lasagna Lizard! Devil Dog! Grampus! Allegheny Alligator! aaaand for some fucking reason, Leverian Water Newt!
these poor guys just can’t catch a break.
you’re hurting his feelings
the Hellbender is found in fast water streams and rivers from New York to Missouri. they breath completely through their skin (weird, but mammals can be judgey about this so I’ll let it slide) and hide under large rocks on the streambed, where they feast on crayfish and also regular fish.
maybe also feet
they are active at night and remain in dark areas during the day. to stay hidden, they have evolved light-sensitive cells all over their bodies. that’s right, they literally turned themselves into a single giant weird eyeball. what the fuck, evolution.
this seems like a good survival strategy (sort of), but it also means that to catch one you just have to go flip a bunch of muddy rocks over.
aaaaa! my plan, foiled!
unfortunately, human activity has been decreasing their number for years, and they are now regarded as Threatened. that said, there are many programs now in place for their recovery, including extensive captive breeding and environmental repair.
hopefully in the future these amazing giant snot otters will make a recovery. we wish only good things for the lasagna lizard.
look at those eager faces! the future is yours, children