Saturday, September 8, 2012

Two-toed Amphiuma

Amphiuma means
The Two-toed Amphiuma is actually one of the longest Salamanders in the world, and the longest in the United States, capable of reaching lengths of 3-4ft! You can find these long, eel-like Amphibians in the slow moving, often stagnant waters of the southeastern parts of the country. Though they are sometimes referred to as "Conger Eels" or "Congo Snakes," they are still Amphibians.

The species gets its common name from their odd little feet. They have four tiny little vestigial legs, each one ending in two toes. These legs are pretty much useless, which is good, cause they don't particularly need them for anything. Two-toed Amphiumas are almost exclusively aquatic.

Their underwater lifestyle explains their tiny legs, their long bodies, lidded eyes (as juveniles), and their incredibly slippy skin. Curiously though, they have no external gills as adults, and they posses fully formed lungs!

If you see one of these interesting Amphibians, leave it alone! Though not venomous, they have really nasty bites if handled incorrectly.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Southeast United States
Size :  Length up to 4ft (1.2m)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Amphibia -- Order : Caudata
Family : Amphiumidae -- Genus : Amphiuma -- Species : A. means

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, my dad and I found one of these in our backyard once! :O
    She was under a barrel that was on mud, and she had two babies with her. The strange part is that we never knew how she got there; we lived right in the city.


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