Any of several long slender salamanders of the genus Amphiuma of the southeast United States that in their adult stage have two pairs of very small nonfunctioning legs and breathe with lungs although they are aquatic. Also called Congo eel, Congo snake.
[New Latin Amphiuma, genus name : Greek amphi-, amphi- + Greek pneuma, breath (so named by Alexander Garden, probably in the belief that the adults could breathe in water as well as in air ); see pneu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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