The florida swamp is largely unexplored and the discovery of this strange creature is proof that the world is full of surprises at every turn. A team of researchers has unearthed this unique specimen of nature after a search that went on for half a decade. They had heard about this species of salamander through the legend of a ‘leopard eel’ while sitting around a campfire in 2001 and believe that their search is finally over.

Daily Mail UK describes the salamander as being two foot long. It sports the spots of a leopard, has frilly gills on its face while its body resembles that of an eel.

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The researchers believe it to be a new species of salamander, native to the swamps of Florida’s Panhandle and southern Alabama and have named it as the ‘reticulated siren.’ Wildlife in the US is under threat due to many reasons and there must be efforts to protect whatever is available.

This species is a new find

Dr. David Steen conducted the research. He is a wildlife ecologist and knowledgeable in such matters because that is the nature of his work. He has documented his findings on this in one of the related journals.

In his opinion, it fell in the category of a "mythical beast." Finding them was not easy and he and his team had to search waterbodies in the Florida panhandle to locate specimens. They had to spend nearly five years on this exercise before they succeeded. The Florida Everglades is a favorite hunting ground for python hunters.

Incidentally, another species of salamander was also in the news.

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It is the Chinese giant salamander, which is the largest amphibian in the world. In May, there were reports that shortage of food has affected their chances of survival and they could go extinct. These are ancient creatures dating back to millions of years but have become rare sights in their traditional freshwater habitats. They are a highly coveted delicacy among the super-rich in China and suitable action is necessary to protect them else, the few that remain will vanish.

Florida swamp is a treasure house

New York Post adds that the Florida swamp is a veritable treasure house of innumerable varieties of wildlife and the salamander identified as the “reticulated siren” is the latest find.

It falls in the category of giant salamander and from its looks, it appears to be an out-of-this-world species. Dr. David Steen has co-authored the research on this species. These have been spotted and discussed about earlier but details were not available. The current research has tried to fill the void. It is a reminder that man’s knowledge about his surroundings is still incomplete and there are many undiscovered species around us that are waiting to be found.