Amphibians

Characteristics :

  • Have a backbone
  • Lay shell-less eggs in water
  • Most live both in water and on land during the course of their life cycle
  • Undergo a change in appearance and behavior during their life cycle; this is called complete metamorphosis
  • Young live in water and breathe with gills; adults that live on land breathe with lungs and through their moist skin
  • Most have smooth skin covered with mucus
  • Adults have two pairs of legs
  • Are cold-blooded, or more appropriately, ectothermic; they cannot produce their own body heat, they must absorb it from their environment
Taxanomy:
  • Kingdom: Animalia
    • ​Phylum: Chordata
      • Class: Amphibia
        • Order: Anura (frogs, toads), Apoda (caecilians), Urodela (salamanders)
Student Challenge:
 
  • Many amphibians have small, soft bodies and often become prey for other animals. What tecniques do various amphibians use to defend themselves? Find photos or draw sketches illustrating amphibians defending themselves. Make a scrapbook with captions to explain your illustrations.
  • Amphibians are ectothermic, or cold-blooded, meaning that they cannot product their own body heat. Describe methods used by frods, toads, or salamanders to prevent overheating in the summer or freezing during the winter.