Super cool animal!
These two eggs had been washed out of nest somewhere upstream. They were 3/4 of an inch in diameter. The embryos were alive and kicking.
In-situ, on the bottom of the river.
The hellbender, or as some refer to them, snot otters, are one of the slipperiest of salamanders. As the picture illustrates, it's a lot easier to hold them if you don't try to restrain them.
privileged to be invited hellbendering with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's watershed staff
Found during a Hellbender inventory trip with biologists from the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and Clarion University. This guy is now the proud owner of an rfid chip.
The hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis), also known as the hellbender salamander, is a species of giant salamander endemic to eastern North America. A member of the Cryptobranchidae family, hellbenders are the only members of the Cryptobranchus genus, and are joined only by one other genus of salamanders (Andrias, which contains the Japanese and Chinese giant salamanders) at the family level. These salamanders are much larger than any others in their endemic range, they employ an unusual means...