If you think hellbender is a weird name, these salamanders have some even weirder nicknames... such as devil dog and snot otter.
Hellbender, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis
The hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) is the largest salamander in North America and one of the largest in the world, beaten only by the giant salamanders of China and Japan.
Hellbenders aren't lizards, as people sometimes think. They're amphibians – bigger, tougher relatives of newts and frogs.
Their bodies and heads are flat, with small eyes and slimy skin. Like all salamanders they have short legs with four toes on the front legs and five on the back ones.
Their tails have a ridge underneath that helps them swim quickly. They can get oxygen from the water through their skin as well as using their lungs to breathe air, which means they can stay underwater for longer.
According to folklore, hellbenders smear fishing lines with slime, drive fish away, and inflict a poisonous bite. Although none of these things are true, they have been left with some nasty nicknames, such as snot otter and devil dog. However, they can give you a painful bite with their very strong jaws.