Amphibians are cold-blooded, smooth-skinned vertebrates that spend part of their lives on land and part in water. Because they have an ectothermic metabolism — meaning they cannot regulate their body temperatures — amphibians depend on sunlight to stay warm or cool.
Amphibians can survive in a range of habitats, from deserts to tropical rainforests. Unfortunately, they cannot withstand extreme cold or dry heat – thus why they are rarely found in Antarctica and remote oceanic islands.
The Three-toed Oacian, commonly referred to as the Congo eel, is an aquatic salamander found in the Mississippi flood plain. It resembles a fish and prefers water but can move on land too.
This species can be found throughout the southeastern states from Texas to Louisiana, Alabama and Virginia’s southernmost region. It thrives in slow-moving streams, swamps and lakes.
Female iguanas feed on worms, water insects and their larvae, frogs, other salamanders, and small vertebrates such as crayfish. They are opportunistic feeders with strong teeth and an impressive bite.
Caecilians are worm-like amphibians that live in both water and dirt. Most species of caecilians are burrowers with a hard, thick skull which helps them dig in soft soil.
These limbless animals lack eyes, relying instead on their sensitive tentacles to detect vibrations from below. Furthermore, they possess slime glands in their skin which aid them in surviving in harsh environments.
They feed on various small creatures and are considered predators. Furthermore, they pose a danger to birds and snakes alike.
The Rio Cauca caecilian (Typhlonectes compressicauda) is an aquatic caecilian native to Colombia and Venezuela that recently was captured in Florida’s Tamiami Canal – marking the first time this species has been seen in U.S. waters.
The Tungara frog (Physalaemus pustulosus) is one of Panama’s most common and well-studied species. They resemble toads with brown skin and pustulous limbs.
They call from small forest puddles, pools, ditches and standing water bodies during the rainy season. Males initiate a chorus of clucks, glugs, mews and whines that attract females to their breeding sites.
The call of tungara frogs is produced by vibration of a fibrous mass attached to their vocal cords. This mass produces two behaviorally significant features of the courtship call: an initial high-pitched whine followed by several short chucks at lower fundamental frequencies.
The Wood frog (Rana sylvatica) is a terrestrial amphibian that inhabits forests and woodlands across North America. This cool-climate species can be found throughout the United States, Canada and Alaska.
Frogs of the springtime commonly breed in temporary ponds formed after rain or snow melt. Since these ponds don’t support fish life, they provide ideal breeding grounds.
Tadpoles emerge from an egg mass and swim quickly to escape predators. Shortly after hatching, they begin feeding on symbiotic algae in the water.
Axolotls are a type of salamander belonging to the Amphibian class–including frogs, toads, newts and caecilians. As cold-blooded creatures they rely on their environment for maintaining body temperature.
Axolotls, commonly referred to as walking fish, stand out among salamander species due to their inactive lifestyle in water. Furthermore, their distinctive appearance sets them apart from other salamanders and makes them easily recognizable.
These solitary creatures reach sexual maturity at one year old and spawn in February. Males search for females by using pheromones and performing a courtship dance. After this ritualistic exchange of spermatophores–capsules containing sperm–which the female then takes up.