Topic: Large Salamander Identification
I was recently moving some large posts out of the corner of an old chicken house (they had been there for many years). When I moved the very last post, I noticed movement. I had to do a "triple-take", thinking my eyes were deceiving me. There was a large "salamander" (not sure of even that) trying to wiggle himself deeper into the loose soil. I've lived in Arkansas most of my life and have never seen anything even remotely like this. My first thought was "huge mud puppy", then hellbender (I'm vaguely familiar with them from a trip to West Virginia). But this was in bone-dry conditions. By the time I had time to process what I was seeing and decided I needed to take a picture, it had decided it needed to leave so it made its way through a hole in the side of the chicken house that is covered on the outside by a pile of bricks. Not wanting to harm it in any way, I left it alone.
Description: I'd estimate it to be around 2" wide, maybe even a little wider. The width stayed the same from it's head through most of its body. I'd estimate it to be around 10" in total length, maybe even longer. It had four short legs that weren't terribly effective. I don't think the toes were webbed, but not 100% sure of that. Coloring was similar to a hellbender, mostly different shades of brown.
I've tried to research what this thing is and I can't figure it out. Any help would be appreciated. Whatever it is, I don't think it's common.