Hellbender

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Hellbender

HellbenderOriginal.jpg

Character Data
Also known as: Hellbender Salamander, Snot Otter
Japanese Name: ヘルベンダー
Romanised Name: Herubendā
First Featured in: Kemono Friends (2015 Game)
Animal Data
Scientific Name: Cryptobranchus alleganiensis
Distribution: Eastern North America
Diet: Carnivore
Average Lifespan in the Wild: Unknown
Read More: Hellbender
Conservation Status: Status iucn3.1 NT.svg.png
Hellbender Nexon Game

Hellbender is a type of Friend that appeared in the original Kemono Friends mobile game.

In Real Life

A skulking hellbender.

Despite their terrifying name, hellbenders aren't scary. They're aquatic salamanders, and they don't bite people unless provoked. Nobody knows the exact origin of its name, but one story is that a fisherman described them as “like they crawled out of hell and are bent on going back.” Other nicknames for hellbenders include "mud devil", "mud cat," "devil dog," "ground puppy", "snot otter", "mud dog," "grampus," and "Allegheny alligator."

Despite the fact they don't live up to their name, they are the largest salamander in the United States, growing to an average length of 15-16 inches. The longest hellbender recorded was 29 inches long. They also have a high sense of smell, able to detect a drop of earthworm scent within a 40 gallon tank.

Hellbenders are nocturnal hunters. Their main diet is crayfish, but they are also known to eat small fish, tadpoles, water snakes, toads, and even other hellbenders. After they're done hunting, they'll return to their home rock before morning comes. Hellbenders don't often move home, and can keep the same home rock for several years on end. The light sensors that span the entire body of the hellbender let it know if it's in total shade under it's rock or not.

Hellbenders do have lungs, but they rarely use them for breathing. Their main means of getting oxygen is underwater via pores on its skin, which is folded to maximise surface area with the water. Hellbenders are also capable of secreting mucus through their skin when threatened. This mucus is not poisonous, but does taste bitter and makes it a lot harder to get a grip on its body.

Hellbenders typically reproduce in Autumn. The male hellbender dig out a nest under a large rock and wait for a female to deposit eggs within it. Once she has done so, the male will keep guard of the nest until the eggs hatch 8 weeks later. Should the male get hungry, it's not uncommon to see them eating their own eggs as a convenient snack.

Trivia

  • Archaeologists have discovered a 160 million year old fossil of a hellbender, proving they've been around since at least the Mesozoic Era.

References

Marshall.edu. (2017). What's a Hellbender?. [online] Available at: http://www.marshall.edu/herp/Salamanders/hellbender/hellbenderdesc.htm [Accessed 22 Nov. 2017].

Bates, M. (2017). The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About Hellbenders. [online] WIRED. Available at: https://www.wired.com/2015/02/creature-feature-10-fun-facts-hellbenders/ [Accessed 22 Nov. 2017].

Nature.org. (2017). Hellbender Salamander Facts The Nature Conservancy. [online] Available at: https://www.nature.org/newsfeatures/specialfeatures/animals/amphibians/hellbender-salamander-facts.xml [Accessed 22 Nov. 2017].

Clapman, L. and Clapman, L. (2017). 12 Facts About Hellbender Salamanders. [online] PBS NewsHour. Available at: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/12-facts-about-hellbender-salamanders [Accessed 22 Nov. 2017].


Amphibian Friends
AxolotlHellbenderJapanese Giant SalamanderNorthern Dwarf Siren