Hellbenders are large, have flattened bodies, slimy skin and hide under rocks. But what's scary is that they are disappearing — and they suffer from being "out of sight, out of mind" when it comes to conservation efforts. This quiz will help to shed some light on this awesome amphibian.

1. The Eastern hellbender is only one of several odd names given to this creature. Which of these is also another name for the hellbender?

A. Devil Dog
B. Grampus
C. Snot Otter
D. All of the above

2. The hellbender's genus name, Cryptobranchus, is derived from Ancient Greek. What does it mean?

A. Hidden gill
B. Mysterious branch creature
C. Puzzling lineage
D. Sneaky water lizard

3. The hellbender is the third largest aquatic salamander in the world. Which continent is home to the other two other species?

A. Africa
B. Asia
C. Australia
D. South America

4. The average adult hellbender is 17-21 inches long. Which adult is larger?

A. The female
B. The male

5. Which parent(s) builds the nest, and once they are fertilized, guards the eggs (occasionally snacking on some of them)?

A. The mother
B. The father
C. Both parents

6. Each of these creatures has been found in a hellbender's stomach. Which, though, is its primary prey?

A. Crayfish
B. Hellgrammites (dobsonfly larvae)
C. Minnows
D. Water snakes

7. What eats hellbenders?

A. Fish
B. Snakes
C. Turtles
D. All of the above

8. Hellbender bodies have a lateral line similar to the one found on fish. What is the purpose of a lateral line?

A. Provides camouflage
B. Detects vibration in the water
C. It breathes through the dots on the line
D. Scientists are not sure.

9. The hellbender is generally a solitary creature. Yet, there have been times when as many as four hellbenders have been found under the same rock. When is this most likely to happen?

A. During hibernation
B. During spawning
C. When hiding from prey
D. During the hatching of their favorite food under the rock

10. Which two senses does the hellbender rely on most to hunt?

A. Hearing
B. Sight
C. Smell
D. Touch

12. Why is swift-moving, oxygenated water so important in hellbender habitat?

A. It helps the clumsy amphibian swim.
B. It moves water over the folds in the skin through which the creature breathes.
C. It keeps parasites from attaching to salamander's skin.
D. All of the above.


1. D
2. A
3. B
4. A
5. B
6. A
7. D
8. B
9. B
10. C & D
11. B