It seems a little odd for a king to choose a small, slimy, rarely seen amphibian (sometimes referred to as les batraciens in French) as an emblem*. Even stranger for them to be depicted throughout Chambord as belching out a stream of bubbles. In other chateaux they are shown breathing fire, like a dragon, but here at Chambord, they are burping. Too rich a diet in those heady Renaissance days?
*The salamander in legend is said to be somewhat like the phoenix, able to survive unscathed or rise up out of the fire. The modern theory for the reason behind this reputation is that salamanders, which are native to the Loire area, like to live in dark, damp places, such as the firewood pile. When the log sheltering a salamander is placed on the fire the salamander scurries out - surviving the fire unscathed...thus making it a fine emblem for a powerful monarch such as Francois I.