The salamander could be over 200 years old

By Alex Heigl
Updated December 16, 2015 05:12 PM

The Chinese salamander is one of the biggest amphibians in the world, and is a critically endangered species. The deck is also pretty stacked against them: They’re slow-moving, they can’t see very well, their habitats are increasingly polluted, and on top of it all, they’re considered a delicacy.

All of this makes it so much more exceptional that a 4-foot-7-inch giant salamander was just discovered in a cave in Chongqing, China. The 104-pound behemoth is, more incredibly, believed to be possibly over 200 years old. (That may be a bit of a stretch: Discovery says the animals can be expected to reach about 50 years in captivity.)

The animal has been transferred to a protective facility for further care, study and hopefully, not preparation for somebody’s amuse-bouche.