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Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) by Twan Leenders

Posted on Dec 10, 2013

Even though I’ve seen many different versions of this scene before, it never ceases to amaze me: a first gulp of air as a metamorph amphibian (a larval Blue-spotted Salamander, Ambystoma laterale, in this case) prepares to leave the familiarity of its aquatic habitat to try its luck on land. This image only captured a small, split-second occurrence, but it also recorded a phenomenon that is so biologically fundamental (and so utterly amazing when you think about the mechanics of the whole process!) that I was very excited to document this so many can see and ponder it.

Blue-spotted Salamander metamorph MYN(Ambystoma laterale)