Copyright

Amphibians: Excretory System

Amphibians: Excretory System
Coming up next: Cutaneous Respiration in Amphibians

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 Purpose of an Excretory System
  • 0:42 Excretory Systems in…
  • 1:18 Nitrogenous Wastes
  • 2:41 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Danielle Haak

Danielle has a PhD in Natural Resource Sciences and a MSc in Biological Sciences

Like all animals, amphibians need a way to remove waste materials from their body so it doesn't build up and become toxic. The amphibian excretory system is similar to other vertebrates, but read this lesson to learn more.

Purpose of an Excretory System

Amphibians are vertebrates, or animals with a backbone, that begin life as aquatic organisms. When they undergo metamorphosis they develop lungs. Mature amphibians may live in water, on land, or a combination of the two.

Like any vertebrate, amphibians have an excretory system. What is the purpose of an excretory system? Well, the body produces waste products through cellular respiration, and these wastes need to be excreted from the body. If wastes aren't removed from an organism, they will become toxic, so the body works to efficiently eliminate it. Eliminating waste also allows the body to maintain the proper balance of salts and other nutrients.

Excretory System in Amphibians

The most common type of waste produced through metabolic processes is nitrogenous wastes. Nitrogenous wastes form from the natural breakdown of proteins in the body. Amphibians have two kidneys, just like humans, and those kidneys filter wastes out of the blood and combine them with water to form urine. Urine then travels from the kidneys via the ureters to the bladder, and then out through the cloaca. The cloaca, or vent, is an opening used for the excretory, intestinal, and reproductive tracts of amphibians. Urine leaves the body through the cloaca when the bladder is full.

Nitrogenous wastes can take one of three forms: ammonia, uric acid, and urea. Due to different life stages or strategies, different groups of amphibians produce different forms. Let's go over these waste forms and how they're dealt with by different groups.

Ammonia is water soluble and is the most toxic form of nitrogenous waste. It becomes harmful if not diluted quickly. Ammonia changes the pH in cells to rise to dangerous alkaline levels if too much of it remains in the body.

Juveniles, like frog and toad tadpoles, and aquatic species of amphibians excrete their nitrogenous wastes as ammonium because they aren't worried about conserving water, because they live in it, and the ammonia is quickly taken away by the current.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support