Sep 27, 2007

Snot Otter - Hellbender

This has been a few days in the making. I am so, so glad that they didn't simply name this monster the 'Giant American Salamander' or some such. No. Instead, it is known as the Hellbender or Snot Otter (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis). You really couldn't ask for better names. This amphibian should be very proud of itself. Not many newt cousins get that kind of respect.

These crayfish eaters are native to the Apalachian Mountains of the North American east. The longest one of record was 2 1/2 feet, and they've been known to live as long as 29 years. The Snot Otter is truly an epic creature.

I want one. I'm considering returning to my childhood dream of becoming a herpetologist, if for no other reason than to study them.

Photo source: Hellbenders.org

13 comments:

Kritter said...

I watched an Animal Planet show about amphibians and they featured a HUGE salamander native to Japan. They are similar to the snot otter but are about 6 feet long and weigh several hundred pounds. And they are aggressive--one was captured for study and frequently tried to remove body parts from everyone who got near it. It's like a holdover from the giant amphibians of the Permian.

Danielle Lea said...

Your posts have been awfully snotty lately...
haha...
*nudge*nudge*
Get it?
:)

booge said...

There's a save the snot otter campaign, and you can buy buttons to help raise funds and show to support your local snotty otty! You can also get a picture of him to color with crayons!

http://www.nczoo.com/News/20070509071626024

Nebulous Grey said...

*gapes* Day-um.

And it's really, er, "snotty"? Slimy? It's not just reflected light or something (think...glass snakes)?
And the names. Oh, the names. I like Snot Otter, but you really can't get better than Hellbender. The animal deserves a name as properly badass as it is.
This thing is awesome. Love it.

angrycupcake said...

I love it. Hellbender is such a badarse name- who wouldn't want to boast about that?
Ugly animals are so much more interesting than the cute ones; both have their place in life, though.

TeratoMarty said...

Daaaamn. I'm reminded of my misspent youth, poring over the Dungeons and Dragons Monstrous Manual.

Raging Wombat said...

I hear ya, teratomarty.

booge said...

I know, I'm a little too excited about this animal, but I love his tiny little toes! I think the toes are adorable. The gaping mouth does ensure the ugliness of him, but the Snot Otter's toes are so sweet and tasty.

Jack Ruttan said...

Now what we need is video of two of them swimming on their backs, holding hands, or considering the nature of this blog, one eating the other.

Kritter said...

Jack, looks like muskrat love..."Snot Otter Suzie, Snot Otter Sam..."

Cozytailmom said...

They're in my part of the world. I'll never be able to wade in the creek again without worrying about squashing the snot out of one.

ZantiMissKnit said...

I hear they can land a good bite, too. . .

Amanda said...

I actually work with hellbenders. I have 9 babies (well, they're 5 years old now) I raised from eggs. Be jealous. ;)