Amphibians are a class of cold-blooded vertebrates made up of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and caecilians (wormlike animals with poorly developed eyes). All amphibians spend part of their lives in water and part on land, which is how they earned their name—“amphibian” comes from a Greek word meaning “double life.” These animals are born with gills, and while some outgrow them as they transform into adults, others retain them for their entire lives.
Amphibians are the most threatened class of animals in nature. They are extremely susceptible to environmental threats because of their porous eggs and semipermeable skin. Every major threat, from climate change to pollution to disease, affects amphibians and has put them at serious risk.
Frogs and Toads
Tailless amphibians with long hind limbs
|California Red-Legged Frog
|Puerto Rican Coqui
|Southern Cricket Frog
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