Taken in our front yard on Labor day.
We had only seen one other one and that was about ten years ago in a deep pool in the South Toe River on Mt Mitchell.
My wife and I actually saw this one (assumed it was the same one) a week ago while we were standing on our bridge looking down in the water, but only could get a few quick still shots.
We got a bunch of real good photos this time.
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Very cool. |
Posted by: Ayornamut on Sep-03-13 12:24 PM (EST)
An unusual amphibian, one rarely seen. I have only seen them in zoos, they are not native to my eastern Atlantic coast region. That was a good size one.
Posted by: duckhunter on Sep-03-13 2:22 PM (EST)
Hellbenders were quite common in western PA when I was young nearly a half century ago. I haven't seen one in recent years though they are still in western PA in French Creek and the Clarion River.
Only once, and that was in |
Posted by: voyageur47 on Sep-04-13 11:30 AM (EST)
Tionesta Creek, western PA, in 1963. One of those great memories of a very reclusive species.
Yeah, we saw one hiking up Nolan Cr.|
Posted by: g2d on Sep-03-13 2:34 PM (EST)
on the south slope of the Smokies. Wish I'd had my camera out.
Conservation status of hellbenders|
Posted by: puffingin on Sep-03-13 9:53 PM (EST)
greenbrier river in wv has a population|
Posted by: tdaniel on Sep-03-13 10:29 PM (EST)
of em, that river has no dams on it so that probably helps
You didn't eat him did you?|
Posted by: string on Sep-03-13 11:09 PM (EST)
Straightened him out. |
Posted by: g2d on Sep-03-13 11:43 PM (EST)
Hellbender from MO checked out|
Posted by: Yanoer on Sep-03-13 11:08 PM (EST)
a canoe that I had for sale a couple years ago,but he didn't look anything like your amphibian neighbor.
Likely a good thing - eom|
Posted by: puffingin on Sep-04-13 10:43 AM (EST)
yes my daughter while working on her PHD|
Posted by: castoff on Sep-03-13 11:21 PM (EST)
At VT helped with some of the work on them.
only ever in pictures .....|
Posted by: pilotwingz on Sep-04-13 9:38 AM (EST)
...... pretty cool your vid. !!
Anyone know why the name Hellbender?|
Posted by: Celia on Sep-04-13 10:13 AM (EST)
It looked pretty cute to me, despite the size. I just did a quick check online but it didn't exactly pop up why such a dire name.
The word cute actually fit|
Posted by: jackl on Sep-04-13 6:48 PM (EST)
It was completely docile, and Colleen, our youngest grandchild kept wnting to pat it.
Used To See Them a Few Times a Year|
Posted by: wildernesswebb on Sep-04-13 10:47 AM (EST)
Now it's been decades since I've seen one and I'm on the river more days than I was when we saw them with increased frequency. I recall doing a trip on the Eleven Point a few years a go and there were some guys diving and doing research on them.
Wow! Just wow!|
Posted by: gingernc on Sep-04-13 12:25 PM (EST)
They spend the day under large rocks|
Posted by: castoff on Sep-04-13 1:16 PM (EST)
So not often seen.
I saw two|
Posted by: scottfree on Sep-05-13 1:11 PM (EST)
I saw two during their mating season on the Lower Youghiogheny at Cucumber Rapid a couple years ago. Neither was quite as big as the one in the video, though.
Never saw one|
Posted by: briansnat on Sep-07-13 8:19 AM (EST)
I never saw one, and I didn't realize they were that big. I always thought they were salamander size.
Saw one once|
Posted by: puffingin on Sep-07-13 10:23 AM (EST)
I think they are "special" looking, although some might think they are butt-ugly.
ive seen a few|
Posted by: radiomix on Sep-07-13 8:37 PM (EST)
On this side of the smokies. A few in the Little River and a few in Citico creek. I met a guy paddling up the citico one day, and we were cooling off sitting in the flowing water. He asked me if I had seen a hellbender, I said I had, and he proceeded to snap his hand into the water between his legs and caught one. I don't know how he knew it was there. I really would like to see one when they get big.
What's the difference between a|
Posted by: shirlann on Sep-09-13 12:33 AM (EST)
'hell bender' and a mud puppy? They look very similar and IMO a mud puppy is one ugly critter.
The mudpuppy is smaller|
Posted by: jackl on Sep-09-13 6:28 AM (EST)
and one has five toes and the other four
Posted by: shirlann on Sep-10-13 1:59 PM (EST)
Some may think they are 'cute', but seeing a mud puppy up close, I have to say, "They are one ugly, slimy animal."
Posted by: Celia on Sep-10-13 3:30 PM (EST)
I caught amphibian type creatures when I was a kid. I usually brought them home then, under orders, took them back the next day. It was a perfect way to be out of the house and in the woods for as long as possible in the summer.
Presence/absence of external gills|
Posted by: puffingin on Sep-09-13 8:29 AM (EST)
Both are amphibians, salamanders. In general adult mudpuppies are small than mature hellbenders. However, the prime difference is that the mudpuppy has external gills (feathery red structures sticking out beside the head while the hellbender does not. If there's lots of oxygen in the water in which mudpuppy is living, these might be quite small. In contrast the hellbender breathes through its skin and the folds in its skin increase respiratory surface area. The mudpuppy is called a neotenic form. Neoteny is a life process where the animal reaches adulthood (sexual maturity) while retaining larval characteristics (gills).
Mudpuppies have external gills, and ...|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Sep-16-13 10:37 PM (EST)
Yes, I did say that already|
Posted by: puffingin on Sep-17-13 7:43 AM (EST)
Oh, wait a sec|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Sep-17-13 11:42 AM (EST)
Ginny, I was in a rush and replied to a portion of the thread without looking at what followed, and afterward modified my post to point out that you had in fact said those things first. Gender had nothing to do with it. In fact, I've known for a long time that you are pretty knowledgeable about lots of biological topics, and you may even recall that I have joked with you a few times about misinformation that's been posted here about certain kinds of animals, because I knew you had the proper background knowledge to see why the posts were humorous (such as the time someone stated that sea otters were the most aquatic of the Pinnipeds). I'd never try to minimize the value of what you say, and certainly not about any topic in biology.
Admit to sensitivity|
Posted by: puffingin on Sep-19-13 11:27 AM (EST)
Yeah, I usually do check what's already |
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Sep-19-13 12:47 PM (EST)
Only in books. Had no idea they|
Posted by: spadefish on Sep-10-13 3:29 PM (EST)
Nope - they don't live around here|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Sep-16-13 10:54 PM (EST)