Differences Between Amphibians and Reptiles – Amphibians vs Reptiles


Table of Contents

What are Amphibians?

Amphibians belong to a class of vertebrates with cold blood that is adept at exploitation of terrestrial and aquatic habitats.

The term “amphibian” is taken from the Greek term ‘amphibios’ that refers to living a dual life. This is a reference to the dual lifestyle of these animals, even though some species within this group could remain on land for a long time, while others may live a permanent aquatic lives. There are around 8100 amphibians living species live in the world, including the first living organism that first appeared around 3370 million years ago.


Modern amphibians are classified into three groups each of which has distinct types of animals. Order Anura includes frogs and toads and the Order Caudata includes salamanders and newts , and Apoda is based on salamanders and newts. Apoda comprises caecilians. These three groups are differentiated by their distinct appearances or shapes. Frogs don’t have tails but 2 pairs of legs that have larger and more powerful hindlimbs. Salamanders have tails as well as 2 pairs of legs approximately the same dimensions. The caecilians have no limbs and are designed to burrowing.

Some amphibians could share particular features. The majority of amphibians are prone to having moist skin and rely on the cutaneous respiratory system. Frogs and salamanders that live in the terrestrial environment might not have lungs at all. The larval versions of these animals may have gills that permit the younger ones to stay in water. Gills are removed as the larva metamorphoses from larva to adult forms.


The animals have an auditory system that is double-earned and also have green rods within their retinas to distinguish between different hues. Amphibians reproduce sexually through fertilization that is external or internal. They are able to use particular scents or mating signals to attract their partners. Since amphibians don’t make amniotic egg, the majority of them breed in the water. The adult eggs are laid in water and the developing larva lives in the water, seeking food, and fleeing predators while at the same time.

When it comes to internal fertilization the embryos develop inside the oviducts that is the feminine oviduct, which feeds upon the walls that line the ducts. Amphibians are among the most vulnerable animals in the natural world due to their semipermeable eggs and porous skin.


Examples of Amphibians


The frog is an enormous amphibian that is part of the family of Anura in Phylum Amphibia. They are mostly aquatic, while others live on the land and in water while some are completely terrestrial. A mature frog is characterized by large, muscular body, prominent eyes and two sets of legs. The forelimbs are smaller and weak , while the hind legs are strong and strong.

The body of a Frog, as with other amphibians is covered with a moist skin, which performs the primary role of respiration. Certain frogs are not even to possess lung capacity. The skin of frogs is covered with glands that release harmful substances to protect themselves.


Frogs have a distinct tongue, which is about 1/3 of the length of their bodies. Also, the tongue has a sticky surface that allows the frogs to catch their prey. Adult frogs are mostly carnivores and consume tiny insects. Frogs breed in the winter months, and is a common occurrence in freshwater. Frogs draw their mates in by mating calls or secretions. The fertilization could be external or internal, but they reproduce through the laying of eggs. The eggs hatch in water, and the tadpole has as an aquatic creature.


A salamander is one of the groups of amphibians with an appearance reminiscent of lizards, with an impressively elongated and muscular body with two pairs of short legs and an elongated tail. A few may even sport an appearance reminiscent of an eel. Salamanders, like frogs, are different. They are mostly throughout their lives in water and some move to water occasionally, and others are completely terrestrial.


The skin of salamanders is thin and permeable to water, and is home to many glands that keep it humid. The skin is covered with the appearance of cornified layers that are frequently shed. The skin is cryptic in shades that allow for to conceal themselves.

The majority of salamanders are predators and they consume fish, crabs as well as small mammals. Adult and juvenile salamanders have teeth on their lower and upper jaws. Fertilization happens internally in 90% of salamanders, where the male spreads fertile sperm over the ground that is later absorbed and absorbed by female. The tadpoles emerge from the eggs after two weeks. After that, the tadpole is most times in water. Then, it undergoes metamorphosis and transforms to transform into a mature salamander.


What is Reptiles?

Reptiles, also known as cold blooded vertebrates which reside on land and possess epidermal scales which cover part or all of the body.

The traits of animals in reptiles may differ, with some reptiles having a closer relationship to amphibians while others are more similar to birds. The majority of reptiles are tetrapods, which have 2 pairs of legs and they’re exclusively terrestrial and do not possess an larval stage that is aquatic. More than 10000 reptile species exist on Earth, with the earliest reptiles discovered about 312 million years ago.

Modern reptiles are classified into four groups by their appearance. Order Squamata includes snakes and lizards Order Crocodilia includes alligators and crocodiles and order Testudines includes tortoises and turtles and the order Sphenodonta includes Tuarata. The extinct reptiles are more diverse, with species ranging from aquatic plesiosaurs all the way to meat-eating terrestrial dinosaurs.

The majority of reptiles possess an epidermal layer on their skin, which is made up of beta-keratin. The size and shape of these scales differ based upon the type of reptile. They breathe air and have a well-developed respiratory system. Some reptiles sport one pair of legs, and others do not have limbs.

Reptiles shed their exterior layer of skin frequently. Since they’re cold-blooded their metabolism changes according to the temperature of their surroundings. They most often reproduce sexually. The sexual reproduction happens inside where fertilized sperm is released by copulation. Parthenogenesis as a method of sexual reproduction has been seen in certain groups.

Boas and pythons are the only species that give giving birth to babies, and the rest are egg-laying in a plain nest. Eggs are amniotic, and covered by the calcareous shells. The hatching process takes place over a period of days or even a month, when it is the weather that plays vital. The soil’s temperature determines the sex of the younger ones. Most reptiles are daytime animals and also have a superior and more sophisticated color perception and visual depth.

Examples of Reptiles


Crocodiles are primarily aquatic reptiles , which are around 2 meters long and weigh around 1000 kilograms. They have a sleek body that is covered in the keratinized scales. These scales help the animals live in water. They are known to have big teeth as well as two short limbs and clawed webbed feet and a huge tail.

The unique body structure lets the crocodile remain in the water, even though the eyes, nose and ears are out. They are cold-blooded which is the reason they swim in shade and sun to regulate their body temperature. When it is cold, they create huge burrows to keep the body warm.

Fertilization is an internal process and usually occurs within the waters. The eggs are laid on the ground and are usually laid in holes. The embryos take 3 months to develop before fully hatching. Females protect the infants for a period of weeks or months.


Turtles are reptiles that have bodies enclosed by the bony shell, which is made up of an upper carapace and a plastron in the bottom. The shell is a vital organ of a turtle and is composed of cartilages and bones. The shell is a part of the life of the turtle , and is not removed like other reptiles.

Turtles may live at sea or on the land the water according to the species. Turtles have hard-beaks on their heads and jaws that aid to cut and chew food items. They have two sets of limbs that have webbed feet. The turtles are famous for their ability to move extremely slow. Sea turtles may possess flippers as opposed to legs. Fertilization happens internally and they lay eggs on land. As opposed to crocodiles. turtles do not exhibit any parental concern following birth.

Differences Between Amphibians and Reptiles – Amphibians vs Reptiles

Base for ComparativeAmphibiansReptiles
DefinitionAmphibian is a species of cold-blooded vertebrates capable of utilizing both terrestrial and aquatic habitats.Reptiles can be described as vertebrates with cold blood. They reside on land and possess epidermal scales that cover a portion or all of the body.
Different featureAmphibians are mammals that have two modes of existence.Reptiles are crawling, or creeping creatures.
SkinThe skin of amphibians is soft, moist, extremely porous, and occasionally sticky due to the mucus glands that are numerous.
Amphibian skins are stocked with glands that release toxic substances that act as a defense mechanism against predators.
Skin is coated with dry scales that are arranged in a specific pattern. The actual skin lies beneath the dry scales composed of the keratin.
There are no such glands on the skin of reptiles.
RespirationThe majority of amphibians who are adults breathe via their skins, and there are some that have lung capacity. A young tadpole in water breathes through the gills.The main method of respiration for reptiles is respiration through the lungs, and reptiles are unable to breathe through their skin.
LimbsThe animals have short forelimbs, and long hindlimbs , with five webbed five digits.They typically have four limbs apart from snakes that don’t have any limbs. They, therefore crawl across the ground.
HeartThe heart of the amphibians’ case is three-chambered organ with three auricles and one ventricle.The reptile heart has three chambers with two auricles as well as an untruly divided ventricle. Crocodiles are only reptiles with a heart with four chambers.
EyesAmphibians are confined to a color spectrum and are unable to differentiate between different shades.Reptiles have better than average vision and color sense.
TongueThe tongue of amphibians is generally complete, even though some may have a bifurcated tongue towards the point.A bifurcated tongue a typical trait of reptiles.
Cranial nervesAmphibians have 10 pairs the cranial nerves.Reptiles are home to 12 pairs the cranial nerves.
EvolutionThe first amphibians were discovered around 350 million years back.The first reptiles were discovered around 315 million years ago.
SpeciesAround 5500 amphibian species are recognized worldwide.More than 6500 reptile species are recognized worldwide.
Waste that is nitrogenousThe most important nitrogenous waste produced by amphibians is ammonia.Uric acid constitutes the most important nitrogenous waste produced by reptiles.
FertilizationFertilization of amphibians is an external process.The process of fertilization in reptiles is internal.
EggsAmphibians lay their eggs in the water, which are covered in gel.Reptiles lay eggs on the ground and are covered in the hard calcareous and a leathery covering.
LarvaThe life cycle of amphibians includes the aquatic larval form.The aquatic larval type is not found in the reptile life cycle.

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