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Everyone thought it was a myth: Now have biologists found a mysterious sumpdyr

- It really is a cool animal, " says David Steen, a biologist at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and researcher in salamanders, enthused to the New York Times.

He talks about the up to 60 centimeters long, eel-shaped, leopardplettede salamander without legs.

Until recently there was virtually no one who had seen the 'spotted siren', but now a team of researchers found sumpdyret in the pinewoods of northern Florida and southern Alabama.

- Salamanderens characteristic pattern is emerging with the same, says David Steen, which, like other biologists in Alabama and Florida earlier thought that there were only two different of the so-called sirens: The lesser siren and the greater siren, which latter may attain a length of up to 90 centimeters.


But ever since 1970, when an animal was first referred to as a leopardplettet eel, ended up at Auburn University, has rumors buzzing in the biologist world. However, it was mistakenly identified as one of the larger sirens.

'The reticulated siren' is the name of the most recently discovered salamander. Photo: David Steen

In 1975, talked about author Robert Mount in the book 'Reptiles and Amphibians of Alabama' a salamander, not like the greater siren.

Again in 1994 described the biologist John Jensen, a flooded road, where it overturned with leopardplettede eel.

It was all a bit a kind of lejrbåls history, says Sean Graham, a biologist at Sul Ross State University in Texas.

I heard rumors about it from people like Jensen (John, ed.), and then could go years without I saw a description of the nature, he continues.


Work with to officially describe and name the new species began in 2008, where Sean Graham and David Steen decided to uncover the myth. They had, however, only a few specimens from some museums, and it was not enough for a DNA analysis.

But in 2009, when David Steen checked his skildpaddefælder in conjunction with any other research, there was a leopardplettet siren and angry.

It was the first time I ever saw one. The so different. So boldly-patterned, colored, although its the shape of the head. It has such a small head, which looks very different than the other newts.

since then, the two researchers worked in their spare time to discover the spotted salamander. Their genetic analysis points according to the New York Times that there might even exist even more variants of the sirens, who prefer to reside in swamps and ponds.

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