Amphibians Facts

  • Amphibian means two-lives. They spend their lives in water and on land.
  • Amphibians are cold-blooded, ectothermic animals. They also come under the class vertebrates (meaning they have backbone or spine).
  • Amphibians breathe through skin and they go through metamorphosis.
  • Amphibians begin their life in water with gills and tails. They develop lungs and legs as they grow for their land life.
  • 60 million years ago amphibians were the dominant terrestrial animals on earth.



A toad can refer to a number of species of amphibians in the order Anura. A distinction is often made between frogs and toads by their appearance, prompted by the convergent adaptation among so-called "toads" to dry habitats. Many "toads" often have leathery skin for better water retention, and a brown coloration for camouflage. They also tend to burrow. However, these adaptations are not reliable indicators of its ancestry. Because taxonomy reflects only evolutionary relationships, any distinction between frogs and toads is irrelevant to their classification.

For instance, many members of the frog families Bombinatoridae, Discoglossidae, Pelobatidae, Rhinophrynidae, Scaphiopodidae, and some species from the Microhylidae family are commonly called "toads". However, the only family exclusively given the common name "toad" is Bufonidae, or the "true toads". Some "true frogs" of the genus Rana have also adapted to burrowing habitats, while a bufonid species in the genus Atelopus are conversely known by the common name "harlequin frogs". Similarly to frogs, toads also display metamorphosis from tadpole to sexually mature adult.

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