; class Amphibia, order Urodela)
A family of amphibians in which the adults usually lack gills and lungs. They are characterized by a nasolabial groove, a glandular extension from the upper edge of the lower lip, below the nostril. They are mainly aquatic, and the family includes mountain-brook and blind, cave-dwelling forms; but some are terrestrial (e.g. burrowing worm salamanders). There are 183 species, found in southern Europe, and N., Central, and S. America as far as 20°S.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.