Did you know frogs, toad, newts, salamanders and caecilians, blindworms are all amphibians? amphibians are animals that spend part of their life on land and the other part in the water. Scientists believe hundreds of millions of years ago amphibians became the first vertebrates to live on land! Learn more about amphibians with these amphibian facts for kids.
What is an amphibian?
Amphibians are animals that spend part of their life in the water and part of their life on land.
Amphibian comes from the Greek word amphibios meaning double live.
Frogs, toads, newts, salamanders and caecilians or blindworms are all examples of amphibians.
Vertebrates and Ectothermic
Amphibians are vertebrates.
Vertebrates are animals that have either have a back bone or a spine. Humans are vertebrates.
Amphibians are ectothermic.
Ectothermic or “cold blooded” animals cannot control their own body temperature. They depend on their environment to control their body temperature. They will use the sun to be warm and shade to cool down.
Amphibian Life Cycle
- Amphibians lay eggs in the water.
- When the egg hatches they are born in larvae i.e. when a frog is born they are tadpoles.
- A couple of weeks later they go through metamorphosis.
- Metamorphosis is the process an animal or thing goes through where they change from one form into a completely different form.
- When amphibians hatch from their egg, there are born with gills like fish. They use their gills to breathe underwater. They are also born with fins to help them swim.
- Then amphibians get older they go through the process of metamorphosis.
- They will start to develop lungs so they can breathe air. Most amphibians will also grow legs so they can walk.
- Most amphibians have moist skin that also helps them breathe.
- An amphibian’s skin can absorb air and water.
Where do Amphibians live?
- Amphibians are found on every continent except Antarctica.
- Amphibians live in a variety of habitats usually near water. These include: forests, meadows, ponds, lakes, streams, rainforests and sometimes even in your own backyard.
What do Amphibians eat?
- Adult amphibians eat spiders, beetles and worms.
- When amphibians are born, before they go through metamorphosis they eat mostly plants.
Fun Amphibian Facts for kids
- Amphibians have no hair or fur.
- Scientists believe hundreds of millions of years ago amphibians became the first vertebrates to live on land!
- The smallest amphibian is a type of frog called the paedophryne amanuensis. They live in Papua New Guinea. The frog is only .3 inches long about the size of a housefly!
- The biggest amphibian is the Chinese Giant Salamander. This salamander can grow to be 6ft long and weigh 140 pounds!
- The largest frog species is the goliath frog. They live in West Africa. This giant frog can weigh up to 8 pounds. It can jump up to 10ft!
- Spade Toads smell like peanut butter.
- A group of frogs is called an army.
- Frogs shed their skin just about every week. They often eat their skin after shedding it.
- The only fruit eating frog lives in Brazil. They are often seen leaping with their mouth open wide towards a fruit hanging from a tree.
- Frogs not only breathe through their lungs but also their skin.
- Some amphibians are completely silent and make no noise at all.
- The scientific study of amphibians and reptiles is called Herpetology.