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Lampreys and hellbenders and mudpuppies, oh my! Get to know Missouri’s unique creatures

From the hellbenders that make their homes beneath rocks in streams to Missouri's only venomous mammal, the vole, there are so many unique critters in the Show-Me State.

Let's take a look at some of them, with extra details and several photos courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation.

Eastern Hercules beetle

With the scientific title of Dynastes tityus, eastern Hercules beetles are part of the scarabaeidae, or scarab beetle, family.

Male beetles can grow to be nearly 2-and-a-half inches in length. Their horns are used for contests to determine the best breeding sites, akin to how deer and elk use their antlers.