salamander

Adult Ozark hellbenders can reach up to two feet in length, making them one of the largest salamanders in the world.
Ray Meibaum | Saint Louis Zoo

The Saint Louis Zoo is sharing its expertise in matchmaking ... for salamanders.

It's part of the 7th Hellbender Symposium, which has drawn more than 100 participants from the Midwest, the Eastern U.S., Japan and China.

Jill Utrup/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The Saint Louis Zoo once again is teeming with baby giant salamanders.

For the second year in a row, the zoo has successfully bred endangered Ozark hellbenders in captivity.

This time, a total of eight females laid 2,809 fertile eggs. Two-hundred and fourteen salamander larvae have hatched so far, with many more expected.

Even though the salamanders are smaller than a quarter when they first hatch, as adults they can reach lengths of up to two feet.

(Jeff Briggler, Missouri Department of Conservation)

You may remember our story about the St. Louis Zoo successfully breeding an endangered giant salamander. Now the hellbender is being honored in song:

The St. Louis band FIRE DOG is offering its hellbender song as a free download on Sunday in honor of Earth Day.

In the meantime, here are the lyrics: