I like finding animals with really weird names, so today I want to write about one of the strangest sounding animals in the world, the hellbender.
Here are five interesting facts about them:
- These large salamanders grow up to 74 cm long, making them the third largest salamander in the world, after the Chinese and Japanese giant salamanders.
- They are born with gills, but when they turn into adults, they breathe through their folds of skin that run along their side. They need fast-flowing water to give them enough oxygen to survive.
- Hellbenders mainly eat crayfish and small fish, although they are also known to eat their own eggs.
- At breeding time, the males dig a small hole under a log or rock in the water. They then lure a female in there and block the way out until she lays her eggs. An average of 150-200 eggs are usually laid and the male then fertilises them.
- Hellbenders are found in a few eastern states of the United States. They are considered threatened due to habitat loss, disease and poaching for the pet trade.
I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.
Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about hellbenders?