Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, July 13, 2014

The eastern hellbender, a slippery, two-foot long amphibian, is currently under assessment by the US Fish and Wildlife Service for possible addition to the federal endangered species list. It's close relative, the Ozark hellbender, found only in Missouri and Arkansas, was declared endangered in 2011 after a 75 percent decline. The rare aquatic salamanders, the world's third largest after the Chinese and Japanese giant salamanders, breathe almost entirely through their skin, making them a living barometer of water quality because of their sensitivity to silt and pollution, said Rod Williams, a Purdue University associate professor of herpetology. Hellbenders have been present on this continent for at least 10 million years and are found in hill-county rivers and streams in the area stretching from New York to Missouri to North Carolina. "There's nothing else like them in North America," said federal biologist Jeromy Applegate.

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

HELLBENDER!

Why is this not a band name?

#1 | Posted by Harry_Powell at 2014-07-13 10:29 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Native amphibians are excellent water quality indicators. Proponents for the hellbender should focus on the economic cost of diminishing water quality and other forms of environmental degradation; they will have more success...

People care about money, not cool critters or the environment.

#2 | Posted by wurster at 2014-07-14 12:10 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

"Native amphibians are excellent water quality indicators."

PURE Baloney....

Amfibs are no better water quality indicators than you or I.

Remember the de-formed frogs found during the 90's? All the scientists claiming pollution and then climate change??? Wrong! That was caused by Ranavirus which wiped out over 85% of them. Chytrid fungus wiped out the rest.

Both are diseases from Central and South America. They were carried by ships in fresh water ports with water that was pumped in as ballast. Ships came to to the Great Lakes and released this water which was carried out through out the Mississippi flood plains along with various diseases.

IN the poor Hellbenders case, Chytrid fungus or Ranavirus probably jumped species 10 years ago and its only NOW we are starting to notice it.

HELLBENDER... great name for a beer.

#3 | Posted by Pegasus at 2014-07-14 01:18 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Both are diseases from Central and South America. They were carried by ships in fresh water ports with water that was pumped in as ballast. Ships came to to the Great Lakes and released this water which was carried out through out the Mississippi flood plains along with various diseases.

Are you saying that foreign diseases present within a drainage is not of detriment to water quality?

#4 | Posted by wurster at 2014-07-14 02:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

#3 | Posted by Pegasus

So I guess Afk posts here under more than one name?

#5 | Posted by jpw at 2014-07-14 02:55 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 3

Pegasus doesn't seem to know what he or she is talking about. Peg said "Amfibs are no better water quality indicators than you or I. Remember the de-formed frogs found during the 90's? All the scientists claiming pollution and then climate change??? Wrong! That was caused by ...".

Of course frogs are better water quality indicators than you or ME. They live in the water. I don't.

"All the scientists claiming..." Really? ALL? Here's a story in Scientific American: www.scientificamerican.com . It says "[The US Fish and Wildlife Service] released the results of their 10-year study, which examined the rate of amphibian abnormalities on national wildlife refuges. Their paper ... examines more than 68,000 frogs found at 497 wetland sites on 152 refuges. ... Potential causes mentioned in the current paper and in previous research include parasites, UVB radiation, predation (dragonflies or small fish can bite digits off developing amphibian larvae, causing partial regeneration into malformed limbs) or toxic chemicals from agricultural runoff, waste disposal or landfills."

So much for "all the scientists" being wrong, as Pegasus suggested. But maybe Pegasus lives in the water, and is a superior water quality indicator. And perhaps she/he has done a more comprehensive study of amphibian abnormalities using a larger sample size.

#6 | Posted by paulheckbert at 2014-07-14 03:00 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 4

HELLBENDER!
Why is this not a band name?

#1 | POSTED BY HARRY_POWELL

www.youtube.com

#7 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2014-07-14 09:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

#3 | Posted by Pegasus at 2014-07-14 01:18 AM

How can you not know the biology of amphibians is directly and exclusively linked to their water source?

The decline caused by Chytrid is still quite devastating, quite irreversible and obvious to anyone actually looking. What has allowed the spread of this fungus? Perhaps the foreign atmosphere particulates sprayed across wide swaths of jungle are killing off it's more innocuous competition - such as what we see in soil samples across North America.

#8 | Posted by redlightrobot at 2014-07-14 12:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

Remember the de-formed frogs found during the 90's? All the scientists claiming pollution and then climate change??? Wrong!

#3 | POSTED BY PEGASUS

I remember scientists saying there could be a number of reasons why the frogs were deformed. They didn't make any specific claims and said it needed to be researched.

#9 | Posted by Derek_Wildstar at 2014-07-14 02:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

Are you saying that foreign diseases present within a drainage is not of detriment to water quality?

TO WHO? HUMANS OR AMFIBS? HUMANS ARE NOT AFFECTED BY Chytrid fungus or Ranavirus. AS SUCH, IT'S NOT TESTED OR EVEN LISTED UNDER NSF/ANSI 42/53/58 STANDARDS.

Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. The presence of these contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. (TO HUMANS - I ADDED THAT)

Of course frogs are better water quality indicators than you or ME. They live in the water. I don't.

YOU DRINK IT , COOK WITH IT, EVEN BATH IN IT. WATER PLAYS A BIGGER PART IN YOUR LIFE THAN YOU IMAGINE. FROGS CAN AND DO LIVE IN FAR MORE POLLUTED WATER THAN YOU AND I CAN. THEY ARE TOUGH LITTLE CRITTERS THAT WERE KILLED OFF NOT BY "POLLUTION" OR "CLIMATE CHANGE" BUT BY DISEASE.
THOUSANDS OF FROG autopsies DONE AROUND THE WORLD HAS PROVEN THIS BEYOND ANY DOUBT.

"All the scientists claiming..." Really? ALL? Here's a story in Scientific American: www.scientificamerican.com . It says "[The US Fish and Wildlife Service] released the results of their 10-year study, which examined the rate of amphibian abnormalities on national wildlife refuges. Their paper ... examines more than 68,000 frogs found at 497 wetland sites on 152 refuges. ... Potential causes mentioned in the current paper and in previous research include parasites, UVB radiation, predation (dragonflies or small fish can bite digits off developing amphibian larvae, causing partial regeneration into malformed limbs) or toxic chemicals from agricultural runoff, waste disposal or landfills."

I CALL THOSE "LIST" OR "SHOTGUN" STUDIES - THEY JUST LIST "Potential causes.." BUT NO ACTUAL DATA OR RESULTS THAT CAN BE VERIFIED TO WHICH I ALWAYS ADD "LEPRECHAUNS TO THE LIST. EVEN THOUGH IT'S UNLIKELY, IT DOES MAKE THE LIST COMPLETE SO IT COVERS -EVERY- possibility! AND BESIDES, THEY ARE MAGICALLY DELICIOUS! BASICALLY NO SCIENTIFIC VALUE AND A WASTE OF MONEY AND TIME.

The decline caused by Chytrid is still quite devastating, quite irreversible and obvious to anyone actually looking. What has allowed the spread of this fungus?

SIMPLE - CONTAINER SHIPS - WATER STORED IN THE BILGE IS TRANSPORTED AND DUMPED FROM PLACE TO PLACE -

THE SOLUTION IS ALSO SIMPLE - CHLORINE TABLETS OR UV LIGHTS INSIDE THE BILGE USED AFTER PUMPING IN BALLAST WATER.

BUT BOTH COSTS MONEY...

DENGUE FEVER - INDIA, ZEBRA MUSSELS - RUSSIA, BOTH HAVE ALSO BEEN PROVEN TO HAVE BEEN CARRIED IN BALLAST WATER AS MICROSCOPIC PARASITES.

#10 | Posted by Pegasus at 2014-07-14 04:24 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 2

HELLBENDER!

Why is this not a band name?

#1 | POSTED BY HARRY_POWELL

".......slimy coating -- the trait that earned hellbenders the nickname "snot otter"

I cast my vote for "SNOT OTTER"

#11 | Posted by soulfly at 2014-07-14 06:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

Not to pile on Pegasus...

But the spread of disease, parasites and invasive species I dare say isn't from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi basin. There are plenty of large foreign vessels plying the Mississippi as well as the Great Lakes.

To add to that the Big Head / Silver Carp that are over running the Mississippi basin and now threatening the Great Lakes via the Chicago interconnect originated in ponds down south.

#12 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2014-07-15 01:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

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