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The Cryptobranchoidea are a suborder of salamanders found in the eastern United States, China, Taiwan, and Japan. They are known as primitive salamanders, in contrast to Salamandroidea, or advanced salamanders.[2]

Temporal range:
Late Jurassic - Present,[1] 160–0 Ma
Cryptobranchus alleganiensis.jpg
Cryptobranchus alleganiensis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Urodela
Suborder: Cryptobranchoidea
Dunn, 1922

Some species of the fully aquatic family Cryptobranchidae are known as giant salamanders due to their large size.


This suborder contains only two families at present. Other families became extinct in the past and are only known as fossils.


  1. ^ Anderson, J. S. (2012). "Fossils, molecules, divergence times, and the origin of Salamandroidea". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (15): 5557. doi:10.1073/pnas.1202491109. PMC 3326514. PMID 22460794.
  2. ^ Heying, Heather. "ADW:Family Cryptobranchidae: giant salamanders and hellbenders".