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Michael Steffen

Salamander Fakes Youth

A newly discovered species of salamander seems to have access to the fountain of youth. But although Eurycea subfluvicola may look like a baby with its gills, a juvenile trademark, it’s a full-grown adult on the inside. Biologists from the University of Tulsa and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission aren’t sure how paedomorphism—the retention of childlike traits in adults—benefits the salamander, but suggest that its small, youthful shape may give it access to unexploited parts of streambeds, National Geographic reports. The finding was published this month in Zootaxa.

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