I bought a pile of old National Geographics in an op-shop (charity shop) which is something I love to do. Last time it was Home and Garden and the time before that it was teeny tiny frames which I covered in treasure mosaic: http://www.facebook.com/pages/faerieclare-art/271036542872#!/album.php?aid=222172&id=271036542872

There was this great article on salamanders by Paul A Zahl. How amazing is the natural world? I did not know that salamanders, newts and axolotls are all related so this was such an inspiring piece of writing! There's a huge ugly one called a hellbender "Its flattened head, set with cold, beady eyes, merged necklessly with a body sheathed in grossly crinkled skin, from which protruded a ponderous tail" They are apparently very like the first animals to make it to land on stubby fins which were developed to get them to a new patch of water when the old one dried up.

A lot of these little guys are like frogs and newts - they lay jelly eggs, the babies hatch from eggs with gills, but some of these creatures keep their gills into adulthood and retain the ability to breathe both air and water! They are amphibious:
1635–45; < L amphibius  < Gk amphíbios  living a double life. See amphi-, bio-, -ous (Dictionary.com)
According to this article axolotls (the Aztec word for 'servant of water') can mate and reproduce but stay in the larval stage, and can be forced to grow up if they are injected with thyroxine. Mud puppies and some other salamanders cannot be changed from the larval stage.

Crazy little critters! And there are some amazingly beautiful ones out there!