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Meet the snot otter: Pennsylvania's newest mascot

Thursday, April 18th 2019, 5:52 pm - It isn't the most flattering name, but snot otters have a lot to give.

Pennsylvania is about to get a new official amphibian.

Meet the snot otter.

It's also referred to as the mud devil, Allegheny alligator, devil dog, lasagna lizard and -- more formally -- the eastern hellbender salamander.

These little guys don't just sit idly by, taking up space in swamps.

Experts say the salamanders provide valuable information about the health of their surroundings.

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Snot otters are sensitive to pollution and environmental changes. That makes them a good indicator of biodiversity health.

"Not many people have actually seen hellbenders," state representative Garth Everett told the Associated Press. "They live only in very clean streams, and they live under rocks."

The snot otter population is in decline. Officials hope its new celebrity status will further conservation efforts.

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania lawmakers voted 191-6 on a bill that would make hellbenders the state's official amphibian. The bill was passed in February.

VIDEO: SNOT OTTER FOUND IN PENNSYLVANIA

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