Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 9th, 2008
Recently, the Chinese media published an intriguing photograph of a giant salamander, which truly gives a good idea of how big they are.
Some reports of the giant salamanders of Japan and China have been recorded in the 5 to 6 feet range. The Japanese giant salamander (Andrias japonicus), for example, reaches up to 4 ft 9 in (1.44 m), feeds on fish, and crustaceans – and has been known to live for more than 50 years in captivity. The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) can reach a length of 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m), perhaps even bigger.
The American hellbenders and Asian giant salamanders all belong to the family Cryptobranchidae.
Tom Slick searched for cryptid Giant Salamanders in the Trinity Alps of California, or should I say, cryptid Cryptobranchidae?
My biography of Slick documents his quests for the Abominable Snowmen, Loch Ness Monsters, Sumatran rhinos, Bigfoot, and Orang Pendek, and – yes – the darker, maybe black Trinity Alps’ Giant Salamanders. See Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology (Fresno: Linden Press, 2002). One of Slick’s favorite quests was for those Giant Salamanders because he was able to bring along his sons. Hey, that was the ultimate fishing trip with their Dad, if you ask me.
Asian folktales talk of giant salamanders so big they attacked boats and the humans in them.