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.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

8 responses to “A Very Cool Critter, the Hellbender

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