Ancient, Slippery, Enormous 'Snot Otters': Looking for Hellbender Salamanders
Photo: REBECCA JACOBSON/PBS NEWSHOUR
Snot Otters and Devil Dogs
Kim Terrell from the Smithsonian's National Zoo holds a large male salamander. Locals also call them "snot otters," "devil dogs," and "mud cats."
She's been studying these animals to understand how they will be affected by climate change and changes in water quality. They are a "canary in the coal mine," Terrel says. A decline in the hellbender population means a decline in water quality.
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