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Large Aquatic Salamanders (Hellbenders/Cryptobranchids, Necturus, Siren, etc.) This topic covers Cryptobranchids like the hellbender and Asian giant salamanders, as well as sirens, mud puppies, and amphiumas.

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Old 25th June 2010   #1
Foster Reves
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Default I got to touch my first Hellbender last night

One of our local parks has been putting on a series of educational presentations on Thursday nights during the summer. Last nights presentation was on hellbenders and was given by Mike Pinder of the VA Dept of Game and Inland Fisheries. The material was aimed at a broad audience (lots of kids there) but was informative nonetheless. Mike gave a slide show presentation and caudata.org was listed as a source for further information. The best part was at the end when he had a couple of live specimens, with one of them being in a makeshift touch tank.
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Old 25th June 2010   #2
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Default Re: I got to touch my first Hellbender last night

So what did it feel like? Did it try to bite your hand off?



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Old 25th June 2010   #3
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Default Re: I got to touch my first Hellbender last night

No it was not aggressive at all. It was without a doubt one of the slickest slimy animals that I have ever touched. Interesting story with the educational animals. Mr Pinder said that about four years ago a disturbed hellbender nest was found with the eggs floating on the surface. Reasoning that the eggs were all doomed to perish in some way they took them in and hatched them. Many of the animals were released after a year or so but they kept some for educational purposes.
Chip



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Old 26th June 2010   #4
Johnny O. Farnen
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Default Re: I got to touch my first Hellbender last night

Lucky you! I do so miss hellbenders. It has been close to 12 years since I lived in an area they inhabit and closer to 20 years since I have actually gotten to see one.



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