A Very Cool Critter, the Hellbender

Hi, Mr. Nature here, with the biggest salamander in the Western Hemisphere–the hellbender.

All my life I’ve wanted to handle one of these. As a boy I spent many an hour turning over rocks in streams, trying to find a hellbender. But they don’t live in New Jersey. I guess I was hoping for a stray. The only salamanders I ever found were little ones; but the hellbender can grow up to two and a half feet long.

Hellbenders need fresh, clean, cold, swiftly-running water–which is getting harder and harder to come by. I know some of you don’t like cold-blooded slippery critters, but these salamanders are something special. Their only close relatives are the giant salamanders of China and Japan, which are several times the size of a hellbender. Now that would really be something to see!

Not all of God’s stuff is cute and cuddly; but it’s all way cool.

8 comments on “A Very Cool Critter, the Hellbender

  1. Well, I can go to sleep now, because I’ve learned my new bit of info for the day. I had never heard of these before and the species nearing 6′ in length that live in Asia must’ve inspired some nightmares over the years.

  2. Cool! Reminds me of the mudpuppy Michael caught while fishing in the Niagara River! He unhooked it and let it loose, of course 🙂

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