Amphibians are cold-blooded vertebrates, like reptiles, but require a moist environment to survive. Amphibian fossils were first discovered 419 million years ago during the Devonian period. Amphibians are distinguished by their permeable skin, which they use for breathing, absorbing water, and protection through the generation of poison in their skin glands. Amphibians lay eggs, which then go through the process of metamorphosis: the eggs hatch into limbless larvae, which are water hosted creatures that swim, that then transform into limbed adults that live primarily on land and breathe air. An important ecological indicator, due to their especially restrictive habitat requirements, amphibians are the first to die off when their environment is disturbed; this is why over half of all frog species are facing extinction.

What is the difference between amphibians and reptiles?

The difference between amphibians and reptiles is that reptiles are born with a set of lungs while amphibians are born with gills that help them breathe underwater and then grow lungs and legs later on. Also, reptiles have scales while in comparison amphibians have thin and smooth skin.

How do amphibians breathe?

Generally, amphibians breathe through their lungs as well as their skin. The skin of amphibians has to stay wet so amphibians can absorb the oxygen to effectively secrete mucous to keep their skin moist. If the skin of amphibians gets too dry, they cannot breathe and will die.

What habitats are most common for amphibians?

The most common habitats for amphibians are meadows, springs, streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, bogs, and marshes. Amphibians can also be found in swamps, vernal ponds, and farmland. Amphibians have adapted to be able to live almost anywhere and exhibit it through characteristics in their body and behaviors.

Amphibians Guides
Browse through our curated Amphibians Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Amphibians. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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.67”-1.02” | 1.7-2.6 cm
.83”-1.34” | 2.1-3.4 cm
2”-3” | 5.1-7.6 cm
.05-.07 oz | 1.5-2 g
8-15 years
African Dwarf Frog
2.600
3.400
7.600
0.002
15.00
36800
3D
African Dwarf Frog
.31”-.55” | .8-1.4 cm
.28”-.47” | .7-1.2 cm
2.75”-4.72” | 7-12 cm
.05-.23 oz | 1.4-6.4 g
15-30 years
Alpine Newt
1.400
1.200
12.000
0.006
30.00
3200
3D
Alpine Newt
1.65”-2.56” | 4.2-6.5 cm
1.14”-1.85” | 2.9-4.7 cm
2.5”-4” | 6.4-10.2 cm
.14-.18 oz | 4-5 g
5-10 years
Amazon Milk Frog
6.500
4.700
10.200
0.005
10.00
18400
3D
Amazon Milk Frog
2.24”-3.9” | 5.7-9.9 cm
1.69”-2.87” | 4.3-7.3 cm
3.5”-6” | 8.9-15.2 cm
1-1.8 lb | .45-.82 kg
7-16 years
American Bullfrog
9.900
7.300
15.200
0.820
16.00
19700
3D
American Bullfrog
.98”-1.73” | 2.5-4.4 cm
.67”-1.18” | 1.7-3 cm
1.5”-2.5” | 3.8-6.4 cm
.28-.32 oz | 8-9 g
10-20 years
Blue Poison Dart Frog
4.400
3.000
6.400
0.009
20.00
9500
3D
Blue Poison Dart Frog
.51”-.83” | 1.3-2.1 cm
.47”-.79” | 1.2-2 cm
4.72”-7.87” | 12-20 cm
.21-.39 oz | 6-11 g
15-30 years
California Newt
2.100
2.000
20.000
0.011
30.00
2700
3D
California Newt
.79”-1.25” | 2-3.2 cm
.98”-1.57” | 2.5-4 cm
7.87”-13” | 20-33 cm
4-5.5 lb | 1.8-2.5 kg
10-30 years
Common Mudpuppy
3.200
4.000
33.000
0.003
30.00
2350
3D
Common Mudpuppy
1.97”-3.27” | 5-8.3 cm
1.73”-2.87” | 4.4-7.3 cm
3”-5” | 7.6-12.7 cm
.7-2.8 oz | 20-79 g
10-40 years
Common Toad
8.300
7.300
12.700
0.079
40.00
19400
3D
Common Toad
.87”-1.42” | 2.2-3.6 cm
1.57”-2.75” | 4-7 cm
9.45”-15.75” | 24-40 cm
4-6 lb | 1.8-2.7 kg
12-30 years
Eastern Hellbender
3.600
7.000
40.000
0.003
30.00
2050
3D
Eastern Hellbender
.28”-.47” | .7-1.2 cm
.24”-.39” | .6-1 cm
2.36”-3.94” | 6-10 cm
.18-.39 oz | 5-11 g
12-15 years
Eastern Newt
1.200
1.000
10.000
0.011
15.00
6000
3D
Eastern Newt
.39”-.59” | 10-15 mm (Diameter)
.39”-.59” | 10-15 mm (Diameter)
13.8”-15.75” | 35-40 cm
11-20 years
Gaboon Caecilian
1.500
1.500
40.000
20.00
30
3D
Gaboon Caecilian
1.3”-1.65” | 3.3-4.2 cm
.79”-1.02” | 2-2.6 cm
1.75”-2.2” | 4.4-5.6 cm
.5-1 oz | 14-28 g
10-20 years
Golden Poison Frog
4.200
2.600
5.600
0.028
20.00
13800
3D
Golden Poison Frog
4.13”-7.91” | 10.5-20.1 cm
4.69”-8.82” | 11.9-22.4 cm
6.7”-12.6” | 17-32 cm
7-7.4 lb | 3.2-3.4 kg
15-21 years
Goliath Frog
20.100
22.400
32.000
3.400
21.00
25200
3D
Goliath Frog
.51”-.83” | 1.3-2.1 cm
.43”-.71” | 1.1-1.8 cm
4.33”-7.09” | 11-18 cm
.12-.18 oz | 3.5-5 g
6-20 years
Jefferson Salamander
2.100
1.800
18.000
0.005
20.00
2200
3D
Jefferson Salamander
.59”-1.18” | 15-30 mm (Diameter)
.59”-1.18” | 15-30 mm (Diameter)
11.8”-19.7” | 30-50 cm
10-14 years
Mexican Burrowing Caecilian
3.000
3.000
50.000
14.00
260
3D
Mexican Burrowing Caecilian
.94”-1.57” | 2.4-4 cm
1.06”-1.81” | 2.7-4.6 cm
1.8”-3” | 4.5-7.6 cm
.05-.07 oz | 1.5-2 g
5-6 years
Mink Frog
4.000
4.600
7.600
0.002
6.00
1210
3D
Mink Frog
.31”-.71” | .8-1.8 cm
.24”-.47” | .6-1.2 cm
2.36”-5.51” | 6-14 cm
.16-.46 oz | 4.5-13 g
10-15 years
Northern Dusky Salamander
1.800
1.200
14.000
0.013
15.00
650
3D
Northern Dusky Salamander
.98”-2.24” | 2.5-5.7 cm
.87”-2” | 2.2-5.1 cm
2”-4.5” | 5.1-11.4 cm
.75-1 oz | 21-28 g
3-9 years
Northern Leopard Frog
5.700
5.100
11.400
0.028
9.00
5090
3D
Northern Leopard Frog
.35”-.39” | .9-1 cm
.35”-.39” | .9-1 cm
9.06”-9.84” | 23-25 cm
.6-5.3 oz | 17-150 g
60-100 years
Olm | Proteus
1.000
1.000
25.000
0.150
100.00
52100
3D
Olm | Proteus
.8”-1.57” | 2-4 cm
.67”-1.34” | 1.7-3.4 cm
1.75”-3.5” | 4.4-8.9 cm
.09-.12 oz | 2.5-3.5 g
5-8 years
Pickerel Frog
4.000
3.400
8.900
0.004
8.00
5820
3D
Pickerel Frog
1.22”-1.77” | 3.1-4.5 cm
.91”-1.5” | 2.3-3.8 cm
2”-3” | 5.1-7.6 cm
.2-.5 oz | 2.8-14 g
4-12 years
Red-Eyed Tree Frog
4.500
3.800
7.600
0.014
12.00
34300
3D
Red-Eyed Tree Frog
.47”-.79” | 12-20 mm (Diameter)
.47”-.79” | 12-20 mm (Diameter)
11”-17.7” | 28-45 cm
1-2 years
Ringed Caecilian
2.000
2.000
45.000
2.00
450
3D
Ringed Caecilian
.79”-.98” | 20-25 mm (Diameter)
.79”-.98” | 20-25 mm (Diameter)
18.1”-22” | 46-56 cm
4-5 years
Rubber Eel
2.500
2.500
56.000
5.00
2300
3D
Rubber Eel
.43”-.59” | 1.1-1.5 cm
.35”-.55” | .9-1.4 cm
4.72”-6.69” | 12-17 cm
.13-.15 oz | 3.6-4.2 g
6-20 years
Slimy Salamander
1.500
1.400
17.000
0.004
20.00
1250
3D
Slimy Salamander
.71”-1.18” | 1.8-3 cm
.59”-.98” | 1.5-2.5 cm
5.91”-9.84” | 15-25 cm
.4-.6 oz | 11-17 g
20-30 years
Spotted Salamander
3.000
2.500
25.000
0.017
30.00
12900
3D
Spotted Salamander
.51”-.87” | 1.3-2.2 cm
.43”-.71” | 1.1-1.8 cm
.8”-1.3” | 2-3.3 cm
.1-.2 oz | 2.8-5.7 g
2-3 years
Spring Peeper
2.200
1.800
3.300
0.006
3.00
9050
3D
Spring Peeper
.12”-.31” | 3-8 mm (Diameter)
.12”-.31” | 3-8 mm (Diameter)
5.9”-14.6” | 15-37 cm
1-2 years
Taita African Caecilian
0.800
0.800
37.000
2.00
150
3D
Taita African Caecilian
.31”-.47” | 8-12 mm (Diameter)
.31”-.47” | 8-12 mm (Diameter)
39.4”-59” | 1-1.5 m
10-13 years
Thompson's Caecilian
1.200
1.200
150.000
13.00
180
3D
Thompson's Caecilian
.71”-.91” | 1.8-2.3 cm
.79”-1.1” | 2-2.8 cm
5.91”-7.87” | 15-20 cm
2.1-4.6 oz | 60-130 g
14-25 years
Tiger Salamander
2.300
2.800
20.000
0.130
25.00
23700
3D
Tiger Salamander
.71”-1.42” | 1.8-3.6 cm
.55”-1.14” | 1.4-2.9 cm
1.4”-2.8” | 3.6-7.1 cm
.3-.5 oz | 8.5-14 g
3-5 years
Wood Frog
3.600
2.900
7.100
0.014
5.00
16150
3D
Wood Frog
Mexican Burrowing Caecilian (Dermophis mexicanus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Mexican Burrowing Caecilian to other caecilians

Until you give it a close inspection, you may think the Mexican Burrowing Caecilian (Dermophis mexicanus) is an earthworm. However, it is a limbless amphibian. It is also called Mexican caecilian, tepelcua, or tapalcua found in Mexico and other parts of Central America. Here, you will find it under plant debris or leaf litter. This amphibian has a large elongated body with a head and a pointed snout. The skin is dark gray on the upper part and pale gray on the lower part. The skin may have several transverse annular folds and annuli dark markings. It has two vestigial eyes, though covered with skin. The Mexican Burrowing Caecilian is viviparous, nocturnal, and feeds on ground invertebrates.

The Mexican Burrowing Caecilian has an overall length between 11.8”-19.7” (30-50 cm) and body diameter of .59”-1.18” (15-30 mm). The typical lifespan of the Mexican Burrowing Caecilian is between 10-14 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Mexican Burrowing Caecilian in various poses
Until you give it a close inspection, you may think the Mexican Burrowing Caecilian (Dermophis mexicanus) is an earthworm. However, it is a limbless amphibian. It is also called Mexican caecilian, tepelcua, or tapalcua found in Mexico and other parts of Central America.

The Mexican Burrowing Caecilian has an overall length between 11.8”-19.7” (30-50 cm) and body diameter of .59”-1.18” (15-30 mm). The typical lifespan of the Mexican Burrowing Caecilian is between 10-14 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Mexican Burrowing Caecilian in various poses
Mexican Burrowing Caecilian (Dermophis mexicanus)
Height:
.59”-1.18” | 15-30 mm (Diameter)
Width:
.59”-1.18” | 15-30 mm (Diameter)
Length:
11.8”-19.7” | 30-50 cm
Depth:
Weight:
Area:
Scientific Name
Dermophis mexicanus
Lifespan
10-14 years

Drawings include:

Mexican Burrowing Caecilian top view (assorted)

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Blue Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius)
Scale illustration of an average Blue Poison Dart Frog compared to other frog species

The blue poison dart frog, Dendrobates tinctorius ”azureus”, is a poison dart frog that lives in the forests surrounded by the Sipaliwini Savanna in northern Brazil. They are a mainland animal, but stay close to water sources. Its bright blue skin is darker around its limbs and stomach, and it serves as a warning to predators. The glands of poisonous alkaloids is also another defense mechanism, as it paralyzes, and can sometimes kill, a predator. They hop around in short leaps, and they can be very territorial and aggressive to their own species and others. Their diet consists of ants, beetles, flies, mites, spiders, termites, maggots, and caterpillars.

The Blue Poison Dart Frog has an overall length between 1.5”-2.5” (3.8-6.4 cm), body width of .67”-1.18” (1.7-3 cm), sitting height of roughly .98”-1.73” (2.5-4.4 cm), and weight between .28-.32 oz (8-9 g). The typical lifespan of the Blue Poison Dart Frog is between 10-20 years.

Series of top and side view illustrations of the Blue Poison Dart Frog
The blue poison dart frog, Dendrobates tinctorius ”azureus”, is a poison dart frog that lives in the forests surrounded by the Sipaliwini Savanna in northern Brazil. They are a mainland animal, but stay close to water sources. Its bright blue skin is darker around its limbs and stomach.

The Blue Poison Dart Frog has an overall length between 1.5”-2.5” (3.8-6.4 cm), body width of .67”-1.18” (1.7-3 cm), sitting height of roughly .98”-1.73” (2.5-4.4 cm), and weight between .28-.32 oz (8-9 g). The typical lifespan of the Blue Poison Dart Frog is between 10-20 years.

Series of top and side view illustrations of the Blue Poison Dart Frog
Blue Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius)
Height:
.98”-1.73” | 2.5-4.4 cm
Width:
.67”-1.18” | 1.7-3 cm
Length:
1.5”-2.5” | 3.8-6.4 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.28-.32 oz | 8-9 g
Area:
Scientific Name
Dendrobates tinctorius
Lifespan
10-20 years

Drawings include:

Blue Poison Dart Frog side elevation, front, plan

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Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)
Scale illustration of an average Tiger Salamander compared to other salamander species

The tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, is a mole salamander, and it is one of the largest terrestrial salamanders in North America. They are secretive creatures that live underground in burrows of woodlands or in grassy open fields, and they need loose soil for burrowing. Physically, they have a black or dark brown back with brownish yellow to greenish yellow markings on the back of their head, body, and tail. Other characteristics include short snouts, thick necks, strong legs, and lengthy tails. Their diet is mostly small insects, frogs, and worms, but an adult can turn cannibalistic.

The Tiger Salamander has an overall length between 5.91”-7.87” (15-20 cm), body width of .79”-1.1” (2-2.8 cm), body height of .71”-.91” (1.8-2.3 cm), and weight between 2.1-4.6 oz (60-130 g). The typical lifespan of the Tiger Salamander is between 14-25 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the Tiger Salamander
The tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum, is a mole salamander, and it is one of the largest terrestrial salamanders in North America. They are secretive creatures that live underground in burrows of woodlands or in grassy open fields, and they need loose soil for burrowing.

The Tiger Salamander has an overall length between 5.91”-7.87” (15-20 cm), body width of .79”-1.1” (2-2.8 cm), body height of .71”-.91” (1.8-2.3 cm), and weight between 2.1-4.6 oz (60-130 g). The typical lifespan of the Tiger Salamander is between 14-25 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the Tiger Salamander
Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)
Height:
.71”-.91” | 1.8-2.3 cm
Width:
.79”-1.1” | 2-2.8 cm
Length:
5.91”-7.87” | 15-20 cm
Depth:
Weight:
2.1-4.6 oz | 60-130 g
Area:
Scientific Name
Ambystoma tigrinum
Lifespan
14-25 years

Drawings include:

Tiger Salamander top view, side

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Common Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Common Mudpuppy to other salamanders

The mudpuppy, Necturus maculosus, is an aquatic salamander that lives in the eastern part of North America in lakes, rivers, and ponds. As skin and lung respiration is not sufficient for gas exchange, mudpuppies rely on external gills as their primary means of gas exchange. They are nocturnal animals, and only emerge during the day if the water in which they inhabit is murky. Their diet is diverse, as they consume insects, mollusks, earthworms, and other annelids. Physically they are a rusty brown color with black, gray, and black-blue spots.

The Common Mudpuppy has an overall length between 7.87”-13” (20-33 cm), body width of .98”-1.57” (2.5-4 cm), body height of .79”-1.25” (2-3.2 cm), and weight between 4-5.5 lb (1.8-2.5 kg). The typical lifespan of the Common Mudpuppy is between 10-30 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Common Mudpuppy in various poses
The mudpuppy, Necturus maculosus, is an aquatic salamander that lives in the eastern part of North America in lakes, rivers, and ponds. As skin and lung respiration is not sufficient for gas exchange, mudpuppies rely on external gills as their primary means of gas exchange.

The Common Mudpuppy has an overall length between 7.87”-13” (20-33 cm), body width of .98”-1.57” (2.5-4 cm), body height of .79”-1.25” (2-3.2 cm), and weight between 4-5.5 lb (1.8-2.5 kg). The typical lifespan of the Common Mudpuppy is between 10-30 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Common Mudpuppy in various poses
Common Mudpuppy (Necturus maculosus)
Height:
.79”-1.25” | 2-3.2 cm
Width:
.98”-1.57” | 2.5-4 cm
Length:
7.87”-13” | 20-33 cm
Depth:
Weight:
4-5.5 lb | 1.8-2.5 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Necturus maculosus
Lifespan
10-30 years

Drawings include:

Common Mudpuppy top view, side

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Olm | Proteus (Proteus anguinus)
Scale illustration of an average Olm | Proteus compared to other salamander species

A cave salamander, Proteus anguinus, exclusively lives in caves. They encompass several species, and they have developed special adaptations to their environments like rudimentary or absent eyes and lack of pigmentation. Many species have been commonly named ”cave salamander” without any modifier or adjective. For example, the olm is the cave salamander that is most noted for its adaptations to life of complete darkness. Its eyes are undeveloped, and to compensate, its other senses are acute. They lack pigmentation and have three toes on their forelimbs and only two twos on their hind feet.

The Olm | Proteus has an overall length between 9.06”-9.84” (23-25 cm), body width of .35”-.39” (.9-1 cm), body height of .35”-.39” (.9-1 cm), and weight between .6-5.3 oz (17-150 g). The typical lifespan of the Olm | Proteus is between 60-100 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the Olm | Proteus
A cave salamander, Proteus anguinus, exclusively lives in caves. They encompass several species, and they have developed special adaptations to their environments like rudimentary or absent eyes and lack of pigmentation. Many species have been commonly named ”cave salamander”.

The Olm | Proteus has an overall length between 9.06”-9.84” (23-25 cm), body width of .35”-.39” (.9-1 cm), body height of .35”-.39” (.9-1 cm), and weight between .6-5.3 oz (17-150 g). The typical lifespan of the Olm | Proteus is between 60-100 years.

Series of top view illustrations of the Olm | Proteus
Olm | Proteus (Proteus anguinus)
Height:
.35”-.39” | .9-1 cm
Width:
.35”-.39” | .9-1 cm
Length:
9.06”-9.84” | 23-25 cm
Depth:
Weight:
.6-5.3 oz | 17-150 g
Area:
Scientific Name
Proteus anguinus
Lifespan
60-100 years

Drawings include:

Olm | Proteus top view, side

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