Types of Amphibians Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Dacia Upkins

Dacia has taught all core elementary subjects for 14 years with a Master's degree in Urban Teacher Leadership.

Believe it or not, there are differences between frogs and toads. These creatures, along with other amphibians, are often misunderstood. By the end of this lesson, you'll feel like an amphibian guru!

What are Amphibians?

They're slimy. They can be very loud or never make a sound. And the colorful ones can be poisonous and stinky. What are they? Amphibians! Amphibians are one of the five classes, or main groups of vertebrates, which are animals with backbones. Amphibians are vertebrates that are born in water, but usually grow up and live on land or near water. They have moist skin through which they breathe. Because they are unable to regulate, or control, their own body temperature, amphibians use the sun's heat to warm them up.

Have you ever looked at a parent and child and thought they looked just alike? This is never the case with amphibians. Amphibians go through a process called metamorphosis, or stages of change from childhood to adulthood. So baby amphibians look totally different from their parents. Amphibians are born from eggs and continue to change through the different stages to adulthood. Because they are born in water, they start with gills that they use to breathe. But over time, most of them lose their gills, and they move to land.

Types of Amphibians

The three main types of amphibians are frogs and toads, salamanders, and some weird-looking creatures called caecilians.

Frog vs. Toad Showdown

Frogs and toads often get confused, but there are some differences. Frogs always stay near water, while toads may live farther away from water. Toads have wider bodies than frogs. Because their skin has an unpleasant taste and a bad smell, toads have much fewer predators than frogs. Another way to tell frogs from toads is to look at their eyes. Frogs' eyes usually sit up higher, stick out more, and are rounder than those of toads.

Frogs and toads are similar but have some differences, including body width and eye structure.
frog & toad

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