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Mole Salamanders

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Andrew DuBois
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A mole slamander

The mole salamanders (genus Ambystoma) are a group of advanced salamanders endemic to North America. Terrestrial adults spend most of their lives underground in burrows, either of their own making or abandoned by other animals. They live alone and feed on any available invertebrate. Adults spend little time in the water, only returning to the ponds of their birth to breed.

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Rudy Mancke served as naturalist and co-host of South Carolina ETV's NatureScene, which began its long run in 1978. His field trips, broadcast nationwide, have earned him a legion of dedicated viewers. Rudy's knowledge of the complex inner-workings of different ecosystems and his great admiration for the natural world make him the perfect guide. In fact, the National Wildlife Federation and the Garden Club of America honored his commitment to resource conservation with special awards. Since retiring from SCETV, Rudy has gone on to teach at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.