10 characteristics of AMPHIBIANS
Amphibians are cold-blooded animals that possess dorsal spines and display characteristics found among fish and reptiles.. They spend time both in water and on land. Their larvae (not yet fully developed young) mature in the water and breathe through gills, like fish, while adults breathe air through their lungs and skin.
The word amphibian means two lives.. Amphibians spend their lives in the water and on land.
Amphibians have certain characteristics that are different from other species. These characteristics help to adopt them in all climatic and environmental conditions.
- amphibians they are cold blooded animals They get heat from outside. The body temperature of amphibians depends on the outside environment. Therefore, amphibians are very active in hot environments and become lethargic when exposed to cold temperatures.
- They begin their life cycle underwater breathing through the gills. As they reach adulthood, they move to land and breathe with the help of their skin or lungs. Earthworms and insects act as prey for the amphibian. Each species of amphibian has its own feeding habit.
- They are generally carnivorous. In the water they consume fish, small reptiles, crustaceans and other amphibians. On land they feed on worms and insects. While some tadpoles and larval salamanders are filter feeders consuming plant and animal material; All adult amphibians are carnivorous. While most amphibians consume invertebrates such as insects, arachnids, and earthworms, some also eat small vertebrates. American bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) are known to eat snakes, fish, rodents, and other bullfrogs.
- amphibians they breed in different places depending on their needs. But most of them breed in fresh water. While others breed in burrows, leaf litter, and wild habitats. Amphibian eggs are covered with a gelatinous substance that is very clear to protect the eggs from drying out. For the most part, all amphibians undergo metamorphosis in their life cycle.
- They are divided into three orders: Anura (frogs and toads), Urodela (salamanders and newts), and Gymnophiona (caecilians, pronounced sih-SILL-yuhns, which have a worm-like appearance). Amphibians are in the class Amphibia, which includes more than 3,500 species.
- shelled eggs: Living amphibians produce very different eggs than strictly terrestrial organisms like reptiles do. The amphibian egg lacks a calcified shell, which consists mainly of gelatin, making it susceptible to rapid desiccation if exposed to air. While most frogs and salamanders lay their eggs directly in the water, some species have adapted methods for terrestrial egg deposition. Some terrestrial salamanders lay their eggs in moist places under rocks and logs. Some frogs that live in the forest tie their eggs to plant leaves; When they hatch, the young tadpoles drop directly into the water. Fully terrestrial egg-laying amphibians undergo metamorphosis inside the egg and hatch as fully formed miniature adults.
- While caecilians have fish-like scales, most other amphibians have moist and permeable skin. This forces most species to live in wet or aquatic habitats; Otherwise, they would quickly dehydrate as water is lost through the skin. To colonize arid habitats, some frogs, namely waxy monkey frogs (Phyllomedusa sauvagil), have evolved a protective mechanism: lipids are secreted from skin glands, which the frog spreads over its body with its feet. The lipids help slow water loss, essentially forming a cocoon around the animal. Many amphibian species produce venoms from glands in their skin that they use to protect themselves from predators; some species, such as some poison dart frogs (Dendrobates sp.), possess venoms powerful enough to kill humans.
- amphibians found in most parts of the world, but its global distribution shows highly variable diversity from one region to another. Most areas with high amphibian diversity have some common characteristics, namely hot climates with high annual rainfall. Central and South America, as well as West Africa, are known to have a remarkably rich frog fauna; however, sampling in Indonesia and Southeast Asia has not been as complete as in other areas, and this region may have even more diversity. The southeastern United States is the epicenter of salamander diversity, and the region's many mountains, valleys, and small tributary streams have allowed significant speciation to occur, as habitats are often geographically isolated from one another.
- Courtship rituals follow: Frogs are well known for their nocturnal choruses; Males usually move to potential breeding sites and begin calling to attract females. When the females approach, the males wrap their arms around their backs and fertilize the eggs as they are laid. Salamanders do not vocalize, but many species have ritualized courtship behaviors; some terrestrial species engage in complex dances, but the most developed rituals occur in aquatic species.
- diversity of size: The largest amphibian is the Chinese giant salamander. It can grow up to 6 feet long and weigh 140 pounds. The largest frog is the Goliath frog, which can grow up to 15 inches long (not counting legs) and weigh more than 8 pounds. The smallest amphibian is a frog called paedophryne amauensis. It is also the smallest vertebrate animal in the world. It is about 0.3 inches long.
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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 characteristics of AMPHIBIANS, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-amphibians/ (Consultado el: 22-09-2023)
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