All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

<strong>Hellbender</strong>
<em>Cryptobranchus alleganiensis</em>
I once went snorkeling in a mountain stream in the Smokies in search of one of these huge salamanders. I nearly became hypothermic due to the cold water, even though it was the middle ...
Hellbender
Cryptobranchus alleganiensis
I once went snorkeling in a mountain stream in the Smokies in search of one of these huge salamanders. I nearly became hypothermic due to the cold water, even though it was the middle of July! These large salamanders can grow to nearly 30 inches in length. They have very slimy skin and are sometimes called "snot otters"! They eat small fish, crawfish, worms, mollusks, and insects. I photographed this one in an exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. It was a low exhibit, so I had to sit on the floor to take this picture.

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