Discover Amphibians
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Amphibians

Cultural
Heqet

Frogs, toads and salamanders have appeared in a variety of cultures as unique symbols for centuries, playing important roles in myths, folklores, fairytales, drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Because frogs are observed laying enormous quantities of eggs, they are often associated with fertility and abundance in many ancient cultures, including ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The Egyptian goddess of birth and fertility, Heqet, is often depicted as a women with the head of a frog, or just as a frog.

Kaeru

In East Asian cultures, frogs and toads are often worshipped as symbols of fortune and luck. In Japan, the frog is usually seen as a symbol of good fortune associated with magical powers. Because the Japanese word for frog is "kaeru", which is pronounced in the same way as "return", travelers carry a small frog amulet with the intent of returning safely home. In traditional Chinese culture, the golden toad is worshipped as a Feng Shui charm for wealth and prosperity. Frogs are also associated with longevity, eternity and spirituality. An ancient Asian custom was to place a jade frog in the mouth of the deceased to insure that the spirit would pass safely into the spiritual world.

Fire Salamander

On the other hand, salamanders were given supernatural and mythical qualities in ancient Western traditions. The legendary salamander is often ascribed an affinity with fire, sometimes specifically elemental fire. In the Renaissance, the salamander was supposed to be able to withstand any heat and even to put out fire. Newts are also traditionally associated witchcraft. In Shakespeare's play Macbeth, the witches use "eye of newt" as the first ingredient added to their cauldron.