These are the biggest amphibian in the world. They can grow to be almost 6 feet long, about 60% of that length is their tail. In comparison the largest salamander here in Oregon is the Coastal Giant Salamander. They can grow up to be about 14 inches long! The Chinese Giant Salamander is protected but is still being hunted because they are considered a delicacy and they are used in traditional medicine as well. They are farmed, but that is not in any attempt to help the species survive in the wild. Also, it seems that only one species is farmed. Though I'm only saying this is the Chinese Giant Salamander, they seem to feel that it is actually 3-5 different species. Nothing I saw said it has become official that they are separate species, or said anything about them having been named. Unfortunately that makes them even closer to extinction than if you consider all 5 to be lumped together in one. Even if the farmed ones were released then to help, as they are one species it won't help the others. It would probably only giv people a false sense of recovery for the salamanders. In 2015 one was found in a cave and was thought to be about 200 years old or older. They usually live to be 80 years old.
Well that's it, I think I have to admit the end of the shortest pencil. It needs sharpening if I am going to use it for any amount of finer detail tomorrow. If I sharpen it, I don't think I will be able to really control the pencil. It is missing the black paint because I had to use very fine point jewelry pliers in order to hold it and sharpen it. I don't chew on my pencils because I obviously want them to stay nice as long as I possibly can. I have to resign myself to the fact that under half an inch long really isn't going to work for me. I am so impressed I managed to make a black pencil last for so long, because pretty much every painting has black in it even if only in the eyes. This painting, it wasn't just the pupil in the eye, it was to darken the spots and hopefully add some depth. It is a bit hard to portray depth and form on an animal that is an all-over pattern. For shading I used black and a slightly bluer grey, for highlights it is more of the reddish and some cream, which has brought the cream pencil that much closer to the end as well.