Salamanders are often referred to as ”cold-blooded animals.” This is incorrect. Salamanders (and other amphibians and reptiles) are ectothermic. This means that they generally have to rely on the environment as a heat source, and for the most part cannot generate their own internal body heat. Despite this, ectotherms are brilliantly adapted to absorbing and retaining enough heat to operate at an optimal temperature. Through various adaptations and thermoregulating, ectothermic animals have found ways to thrive.

However, the term cold-blooded is still widespread, and it brings with it very negative stigmas. The worst being the belief that cold-blooded animals cannot feel pain, and this thought-process has been used by many individuals to justify the cruelty and exploitation they inflict on these animals.

As mentioned before, salamanders are not cold-blooded. They are vertebrate animals that are sentient beings (just like dogs and cats), and are fully capable of experiencing pain and suffering. This is known through the presence of nociceptors and a Central Nervous System (CNS), and the connection of nociceptors to the CNS. Furthermore, according to L.K Machin (1999 & 2001), amphibians have shown behavioral responses to pain, and have shown responses to pain-killers.

The ability for salamanders to experience pain and suffering is an important message to note when considering the conservation and cruelty concerns that these animals often face.