The origin of amphibians is traced back to about 350 million years ago when ancient fishes began their invasion of the land. One product of this long evolutionary history – modern salamanders of the Southern Appalachian Mountains – displays extraordinary diversity in terms of both life cycle patterns and number of species.
Dr. Harold K. Voris, Former Curator and Head of the Amphibian and Reptile Collection at the Field Museum of Chicago presented photographs of many of the species representing four salamander families found in western North Carolina. Conservation strategies were discussed because many of the species, especially the red spotted newt, are now threatened by the salamander chytrid fungus.
You may remember that we first met Harold in August 2015, when he took us exploring in the Davidson River looking for Hellbenders.
Salamander photographs by Robert Overbeck.