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Amphibians

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by

Robert Williford

on 28 April 2014

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Transcript of Amphibians

In this section we will discuss what amphibians are, look at some examples, and discuss how they moved to land from the water.
Moving to Land
Characteristics
Leading a Double Life
Caecilians
Frogs and Toads
About 350 million years ago fishes lived wherever there was water but no invertebrates lived on land. By this time land was a good place to live because it had lots of vegetation and lots of insects to feed on. Certain fish already had primitive lungs for breathing air. They just needed to develop legs from their fins. Once this happened amphibians crawled out onto land and were very successful.
Amphibian means "double life". This refers to the need for amphibians' embryos to hatch and develop in water because their eggs have no shells. Once adults they can live on land but must stay near water or they will dry out.
Caecilians are legless worm or snake shaped amphibians that live in moist soil of the tropics. This is the only type of amphibian that has scales. They have small eyes underneath the skin but are blind.
Amphibians
Lungs -
a saclike organ that takes oxygen from the air and delivers it to the blood.
Most amphibians do not have scales. They have very thin moist skin.
- absorb water through skin
- can absorb oxygen through skin
- dehydrate very easily (must stay close to water)
- many have poison glands in their skin
Salamanders
These are the most like prehistoric amphibians. Most live under stones and logs in North America. Some retain their gills and live their entire life in water.
Frogs and toads make up 90% of all amphibians. They are more adapted to life on land than any other amphibian. They have powerful legs, well developed ears for hearing, and vocal cords for calling. Frogs have smooth moist skin. Toads have drier bumpier skin and spend less time in water.
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