Giant Salamanders Believed to Have Gone Extinct Are Actually Alive in Zoo, Aquarium in Japan, Genetic Analyses Find

Courtesy of Hiroshima City Asa Zoological Park
A South China giant salamander, which was believed to have gone extinct

Two giant salamanders that originated in China of a species thought to have gone extinct have been found in a zoo and an aquarium in Japan, a team from Kyoto University and other organizations has announced.

The team conducted genetic analyses of giant salamanders in Japan. It published its findings in the international science journal Scientific Reports.

One of the two male South China giant salamanders is kept at the Hiroshima City Asa Zoological Park, and the other at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo.

Other giant salamander species are a Japanese giant salamander and a Chinese giant salamander. South China giant salamanders are believed to have gone extinct in China due to habitat destruction and overhunting for food and medicine.

The two giant salamanders had been believed to be Chinese giant salamanders, but the team’s analyses concluded they are South China giant salamanders.