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Amphibian withstands freezing: Siberian salamander


Siberian Salamander / Boris I. Tim.. / LicenseCopyright - All Rights Reserved

The body of the Siberian salamander survives extreme cold temperatures via 'antifreeze' chemicals.

"Some urodeles can tolerate very low ambient temperatures: the most impressive example is probably the Siberian salamander, Salamandrella keyserlingii, which can survive for prolonged periods at -45° C." (Fowler and Miller 2003:33-34)

"Sudden frost is a serious problem for the Siberian salamander. It needs time to adapt to the cold and produce the 'antifreeze' chemicals that replace water in blood and cells and protect tissues from damage by sharp ice crystals. Some animals use glucose, glycerol and related compounds to protect them from freezing in this way. The exact mechanism in the Siberian salamander is not known." (Potapov 1993:15)
About the inspiring organism
Med_siberian_salamander Salamandrella keyserlingii
Salamandrella keyserlingii Dybowski, 1870
Common name: Siberian salamander

Habitat(s): Artificial - Aquatic, Artificial - Terrestrial, Forest, Grassland, Introduced Vegetation, Shrubland, Wetlands
Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: ITIS: The Integrated Taxonomic Information System
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

IUCN Red List Status: Unknown

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Antifreeze for food, for medical supplies, for snow bound adventure seekers who might get caught with frostbite or worse.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Manufacturing, medicine, recreation

Fowler, ME; Miller, RE. 2003. Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co.
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