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HomeSpotlight Story | Bird’s Eye View | Budget & Taxes | Politics & Leadership | Governors | Hot Issues | Once Around the Statehouse Lightly
If you’re going to have a state amphibian, it might as well be one with as ridiculous a nickname as possible. I’m presuming that was what Pennsylvania lawmakers were thinking recently when they voted to name the Eastern hellbender salamander the official Keystone State amphibian. Alas, as NPR reports, said squishy reptile has a wealth of nicknames, including mud devil, Allegheny alligator, devil dog, lasagna lizard and my personal favorite, the snot otter. The last one is fitting, given the two-foot long salamander is covered head to tail in a film of mucous. Which begs the question: if this opposite-of-handsome critter was the winner, what was the competition like?