Have you ever heard of a mudpuppy? No, it's not a dog that lives in mud. Mudpuppies are a type of salamander. Salamanders are amphibians. Amphibians have smooth skin without scales. That is the main difference between amphibians and reptiles. They have lived on the Earth since the time of the dinosaurs. They are rarely seen.

Mudpuppies live in cool fresh water. They are active at night (nocturnal). During the day, they hide under rocks in the stream or lake. They are active all year, even in winter. They have been seen active even under ice. They live throughout the northeastern United States, southern Canada, through the Great Lakes, and as far south as Arkansas, Louisiana, and Georgia.

The mudpuppy has a gray or dark-brown body. It may or may not have black spots. It looks a lot like a lizard. It has three frilly gills on each side of its head. They look like feathers. Unlike some other salamanders or the frog, another amphibian, a mudpuppy never loses its gills. The long, wavy gills can be flapped to help move the water around to get more oxygen from it.

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