The giant Japanese salamander (Andrias japonicus) also known as Ōsanshōuo オオサンショウウオ (or pepperfish) can be found on the islands of Kyushu, Honshu, Shikoku in Japan. The salamander grows up to 1.5 meters in length and is the second largest salamander in the world (the largest being the related Chinese giant salamander (A. davidianus).
The nocturnal and long living salamander (up to 80 years in the wild) is an endangered and protected species (included on CITES) and lives in clear cool water streams. It faces a struggle in its natural habitat due to dams that prevent the giant amphibians getting upstream past the dams to lay their eggs.
When irritated or grasped, the Japanese Giant salamander produces a milky, sticky secretion that smells like Japanese peppers, hence the name Ōsanshōuo or Pepperfish.
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