You’ve probably heard the term “amphibian” when people talk about frogs, toads, or salamanders, but do you know what exactly makes an animal an amphibian?
Well, for starters, almost all amphibians live part of their lives in water and part on land. In fact, the word “amphibian” means “two lives”. Most amphibians start their young lives in the water, and then eventually live their adult life on land. But even though they will eventually leave the water, it will always play a huge part in their life cycle.
Most amphibians have three different stages to their life cycle – egg, larva, and adult. The big change between these stages is what is called “metamorphosis”. Most young amphibians don’t look anything like the adult amphibians. For example, young frogs hatch from eggs as tadpoles, which is their larval stage. As tadpoles they will have a round head, long tail, and breathe through gills. As they become an adult frog, their appearance changes. They will lose their legs and tail, and eventually move onto land, breathing with lungs.
Another way amphibians breath is through their skin. In order to do this, they must always keep their skin moist, which is another reason why they must stay near the water. There are a few exceptions though – toads have very dry and rough skin and don’t need to live near water to survive.
Amphibians must also stay near water to lay their eggs. Amphibian eggs don’t have hard shells, but are instead covered with a clear jelly-like substance. Most amphibians lay their eggs in water, but there are some that will lay their eggs on land in a nice moist place. For example, the tree frog will lay its eggs in water droplets that have gathered on leaves. Once hatched, the little tadpoles will fall from the trees, down into the water below.
What is your favorite amphibian?
This article was written by Admin