Amphibians are vertebrates that make up the class amphibia. Vertebrates have backbones. There are over 5,500 different classes of amphibians.
Unlike mammals or birds, amphibians are animals that spend at least part of their life in the water.
Frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts are just some of the different types of amphibians there are in the world.
Amphibians are divided into three groups: salamanders, newts, and mudpuppies; caecilians; and frogs and toads.
Because amphibians rely so heavily on water, they are the most endangered class of animals in the world.
The name “amphibian” comes from Greek and it means “double life”. That is because amphibians spend some of their life in the water and some of their life on land.
All amphibians are born with gills. These gills allow them to breath in the water. Some amphibians lose these gills as they grow.
All amphibians can breathe through their skin. Their skin also has glands that produce useful proteins. Some act as a defense against predators while others transport oxygen in and out of the body.
Amphibians are also cold-blooded or ectothermic. That means they can’t control their own body’s temperature. Instead they rely on their environment to warm them up. It also means that if they get too hot they usually burrow into the ground to cool off.
Another characteristic of amphibians is that they go through a change called metamorphosis. When they are young most amphibians are called larvae and they look very different to their adult bodies.
Where do Amphibians live?
Amphibians spend at least some of their life in the water. For some it is when they are very young. For others it is all of their life, and for still others it is only some of their life.
Amphibians like the water because their skin is covered in a mucus. The water keeps their skin from drying out.
While some amphibians spend their whole life in the water, others only spend part of it there. The rest of the time they usually spend under rocks, or under the ground.
What do Amphibians eat?
As there are many different amphibians they eat a lot of different things. There are some similarities though.
All adult amphibians are carnivores. They eat a variety of different things though. Some eat spiders and insects, while others eat fish, and still others eat other amphibians.
When they are in their larval state amphibians eat mostly plants.
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