The Hellbender

You likely have never heard of the Hellbender salamander and just as likely don’t care. This critter is about as ugly as one could imagine. hellbenderThey grow to two or more feet long, are slimy looking, and live in swift-flowing streams, rocky rivers and streams. They live up to 30 years and are harmless to humans. And guess what….. they have more DNA than about anything else on the planet.

And they are a canary in the coal mine. Their populations are diminishing at alarming rates. The reasons are habitat degradation and water quality. The likely candidates for water quality problems are agriculture chemicals including fertilizers and toxic pesticides.

So, we have a heads up on what we are doing to nature. It is time to reverse course.


About Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

As one of a newspaper family who owned a 34,000 daily newspaper in the heart of the Midwest for 85 years, I have a deep belief in a strong “Fourth Estate”, the press. Without a diligent, truthful, and assertive free press, the power would be taken from the people. People have the absolute right to know. After earning a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, I spent over 20 years in newspaper management with several as publisher. I also hold three graduate science degrees including a Ph.D.. I have a passionate interest in science, the environment, government, and politics. I have very little tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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