Topics » Science & Technology   Aug. 7, 2013

Ancient, Slippery, Enormous 'Snot Otters': Looking for Hellbender Salamanders

Snot Otters and Devil Dogs

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Hellbender SalamandersSnot Otters and Devil DogsIn Search of SalamandersSalamander SnacksHeavy LiftingCapturedCatch and ReleaseDrawing Blood Hellbender Bath TimeThe Big OneChecking for Chytrid FungusTaggedThreatened and Endangered

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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