Amphiuma facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsAmphiuma
Amphiuma is a genus of aquatic salamanders. They are the only genus still living in the family Amphiumidae. They are sometimes called "conger eels" or "congo snakes", which is not correct. Amphiumas have one of the largest amounts of DNA in the living world, around 25 times more than a human.
Amphiumas have a long body. They are generally grey-black in color. They do have legs but they are very small. Amphiumas can be up to 116 cm (46 in) long, their legs are only up to about 2 cm (0.79 in). It is because of this that they are often mistaken for eels or snakes. They also do not have eyelids or a tongue.
Female amphiumas lay their eggs in wet mud. They then stay coiled around them for about five months, until they hatch. The larvae have external gills. After about four months these external gills disappear and the lungs begin to work.
Amphiumas live in the southeastern part of the United States.
During the day amphiumas hide in plants. At night they become active and go hunting. Their prey include frogs, snakes, fish, crustaceans, insects and even other amphiumas. Hunting and eating habits are similar to that of the Axolotl. They suck food into their stomachs with vacuum force. They can become aggressive.
There are three amphiuma species. They are different because of the number of toes:
- Three-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma tridactylum)
- Two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means)
- One-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma pholeter)
Images for kids
Amphiuma Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.