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The spectacular world of salamanders

By: Anna Norris on Aug. 2, 2013, 4:43 p.m.
Hellbender salamander

Photo: Bill Rhodes/Flickr

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Giant salamanders

Giant salamanders, or members of the Cryptobranchidae family, absorb oxygen through gills and folds of skin. Some giant salamanders can live to be more than 50 years old, while others can grow to nearly six feet in length. The hellbender (shown here) is the only giant salamander that can be found in the United States. These homely critters have earned nicknames like "snot otter," "mud-devil" and "devil dog."