Friday, July 1, 2016

Herp Hunting in French Creek

Today we went in search of herps at French Creek with April Claus. Herps are amphibians and reptiles. First we made our way down to French Creek where we initially looked for Hellbender salamanders and Mudpuppies. We split up and lifted rocks to try to find the species thereof. Within five minutes we had caught our first Hellbender, and by the time we were done we had found thirteen. Though we found no Mudpuppies, we did see some fresh water sponge that we hadn't been able to find earlier. We were also able to get some great shots of a Hellbender we named Herbert with the underwater camera.

Once we had found enough Hellbenders, we went over to some rocks on the side of the stream to find snakes. We caught two water snakes, and we saw a black rat snake. As we were leaving the creek, we encountered a water snake that had caught a catfish! We also came across a Hellbender with scratches on its back and tail; most likely, it had been attacked by a raccoon. We took it to deeper water, and hopefully it will live a long life. It was really fun to be able to see Hellbenders!

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