It's flat. It's slimy. And it hides under rocks on the river bottom. It's the Ozark hellbender, and at up to two feet in length, it's one of the world's largest salamanders.
But Ozark hellbenders are disappearing: Fewer than 600 are left in the rivers of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. Scientists have been making a huge effort to get them to breed in captivity. And now, thanks to a major effort at the Saint Louis Zoo, 2012 could be the year of new hope for hellbenders.
Rick Santorum has been upsetting elections from the beginning.
He was only 32 years old when he toppled a seven-term incumbent in a majority Democratic district in western Pennsylvania.
Just four years later, Santorum rode the Republican wave of 1994 into the Senate representing Pennsylvania. And from the beginning, Santorum has stood for unwavering social conservatism, especially on the issue of abortion.
"Give the baby a chance to live," said Santorum while delivering a speech on the Senate floor in 1997.
French-made breast implants produced by Poly Implant Prothese company (shown here in a photo taken Jan. 1 in Saint Raphael, southeastern France) have been found to be faulty and are at the heart of a growing health scandal.
A scandal involving French-made breast implants continues to widen.
The implants contain industrial-grade silicone that cause abnormally high rupture rates, according to critics. They have been sold in many countries in Europe and beyond, though not in the United States. Now, the French government has opened a criminal investigation into the company.
French television showed footage on Thursday of investigators and a judge searching the factory of the Poly Implant Prothese company, or PIP, in southern France.