Ancient, Slippery, Enormous 'Snot Otters': Looking for Hellbender Salamanders
Photo: REBECCA JACOBSON/PBS NEWSHOUR
Matt Neff from the Smithsonian's National Zoo holds a large -- almost two feet long -- hellbender salamander, caught in the rivers of southwestern Virginia. These amphibians are endangered in parts of the United States, but scientists want to know how healthy and viable the population is.
They have a wide mouth full of sharp, tiny teeth like a catfish, capable of crushing a crayfish shell. Beware their bite, warns Kim Terrell. They aren't aggressive or poisonous, but their bite can break the skin.
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