Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis)

The hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis), is a species of aquatic giant salamander endemic to eastern North America.  A member of the family Cryptobranchidae, the hellbender is much larger than all other salamanders in its and has been around 65 million years.  The hellbender is considered a "habitat specialist", has adapted to fill a specific niche within a very specific environment.  Hellbenders are found in rivers with large, irregularly shaped, and intermittent rocks and swiftly moving water, while they tend to avoid wider, slow-moving waters with muddy banks and/or slab rock bottoms.