The Hellbenders of North Carolina. Who are they and what do they mean for our survival?. What is a Hellbender?. Cryptobranchus alleganiensis are extremely large, completely aquatic salamanders native to the Eastern United States. The largest hellbender ever recorded was nearly 2 1/2 ft. long.
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Who are they and what do they mean for our survival?
A hellbender won’t bother canoeist or other outdoor enthusiasts. If disturbed, it may snap at a potential captor, but it is not venomous.In fact they have no teeth but a hard boney mouth like a catfish.
Juvenile hellbenders are born with gills but when they are 4” – 5” inches in length and 18 months of age they loose their gills.
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding reach sexual maturity at approximately four years of age. C. alleganiensis is the origin of its common name, hellbender. The name is believed to be a reference to the animal’s bending movement being similar to what one must experience during the torments of Hell.Why Hellbender?