Clan Douglas : Salamander

I am NOT a fan of reptiles.


Salamanders are slightly fascinating though and the fact that Clan Douglas has one on their coat of arms is telling.

Salamanders have thin skins and soft bodies, and move rather slowly, and at first sight might appear to be vulnerable to opportunistic predation. However, they have several effective lines of defense. Mucus coating on damp skin makes them difficult to grasp, and the slimy coating may have an offensive taste or be toxic. When attacked by a predator, a salamander may position itself to make the main poison glands face the aggressor. Often, these are on the tail, which may be waggled or turned up and arched over the animal’s back. The sacrifice of the tail may be a worthwhile strategy, if the salamander escapes with its life and the predator learns to avoid that species of salamander in the future.

They also change colour which might be a natural representation of the phrase – TURN COAT.

Heralds of old used to wear tabards. They were sent out onto the battle field to parley (from the French verb To Speak, if I remember rightly?) with the enemy for terms. Sometimes when the enemy appeared stronger than the herald’s army, they’d turn their tabard inside out and display the arms of their new best mates.

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