Together with the fish , mammals and the sauropsides the amphibians belong to the vertebrates , which reproduce however only in the waters . The Greek name means “double-leaved” and aptly refers to the pronounced metamorphosis that amphibians undergo throughout your life.
In no other vertebrate species, the shape, habitats and feeding behavior of the different stages of development differ so much from each other, as in the amphibians.
Within the family, three genera can be defined:
1. Frogs (frogs, toads, toads)
2. caudal (salamander, newts)
3. Schleichlurche (weeping, eroding)
The largest biodiversity are the frogs, which are also known to many as grass or tree frogs from the local garden and pond systems. There are over 6000 different species worldwide.
1. The physique is very different from the reptiles
In contrast to reptiles , amphibians have a thin, moist skin , which offers them no physical protection against their many predators. However, bright warning colors indicate effective poisons that can be secreted through the skin .
This thin membrane also allows the amphibians to breathe and absorb water , so they do not need to drink extra water. To avoid dehydration in the sun, most amphibians are nocturnal. Because amphibians her can not even regulate body temperature, so alternating hot s ind, keep them rather in temperate or subtropical to tropical regions to, where also there is a high humidity. They are usually found near flowing or stagnant waters or in rain-forests. Only a few species live in Europe, the largest population lives in South America and South-East Asia.
Other features include the well-developed eyes and the not completely ossified skeleton.
2. The development of amphibians takes place on land and in water
The development of amphibians is fascinating. For mating and egg laying , the animals must seek a suitable body of water , which leads in some species such as the common toad to large migrations with many hundreds of animals . Arrived at the water, the females lay the so-called spawn, which is then inseminated by the males . From these eggs, the larvae develop after a few days , which are also popularly called tadpoles.
In this larval stage, the animals do not have any forelimbs but only hind legs and a tail that allows them to move in the water. Until the metamorphosis is completed, tadpoles breathe through gills that later close. They feed on algae and dead plant remains and as adults eat mostly small insects and worms.
However, some amphibian species, such as the axolotl, remain in the larval stage throughout their lives and are therefore bound to stagnant waters.
3. Amphibians are also at home
Especially the water frog, the toad and the red-bellied toad are native, but threatened by the restriction of their habitat and high losses in the annual migrations.
The water frog is under strict conservation. In long and frosty winters, the population also decreases, as the animals can reduce their metabolism to a minimum, but can only survive conditional frost. You can help the amphibians with very simple means through the harsh winter that these animals survive in a winter stare. Even a wind- and frost-protected compost pile with a warming leaf layer or a tree hollow can be used as winter quarters. Incidentally, frogs and toads are welcome garden guests: they eat harmful nudibranchs and beetles without being interested in their vegetables.
In our Encyclopedia of Animals you will find a steadily growing number of interesting articles that bring you closer to the mutable creatures. The profiles contain many information on the habitat and the origin of the animals , as well as many pictures and photos of the amphibians.