Salamanders spend the majority of their lives below ground and surface only for short periods of time. When they do emerge, salamanders can be spotted not only on forest floors but also in trees, often climbing as high as 8 feet. However, it has never been clear to biologists why salamanders take time to climb vegetation. Previous research suggested that plant climbing might be a way for salamanders to access additional prey items, like aphids and leaf hoppers, that are not available on the ground. The dominant groups were mites, millipedes, beetles, and an assortment of ants," said Carrel. "What was surprising was that the [salamanders] collected on trees did not have anything one would associate with a plant-feeding insect, like aphids.