Learn about kinds of amphibians. These are cold blooded animals as they do not control their own body temperatures. Their body temperature changes as that of the surrounding environment. Unlike most vertebrates, these animals spend part of their life in water while the other part on land. In most instances, they spend early stages of their lives in water after which they have land as their permanent habitats especially at the later stages of their lives and thus the name amphibians.
Although different kinds of amphibians have been discovered and classified successfully, the process is still an on-going. Broadly, amphibians can be classified as the anura (salientia), the gymnophiona (apoda) and the caudate (urodela).
Of all the existing species of amphibians, the anura has the largest number of species which have already been discovered and successfully classified. There are over 4500 kinds of amphibians in this category. They are the most commonly encountered species with some of its members being the toads and frogs.
These kinds of amphibians have very district features and appearance which help in distinguishing them from other species. One of the most outstanding features which are not only unique to these kinds of species but to other vertebrate is their reproductive life cycle.
Most of these kinds of species experience external fertilization. That is, the female will always lay eggs which are covered with jelly like substance on the water surface after which the male fertilizes the eggs. This takes place in almost stagnant water such as in ponds.
A part from this unique feature, they have long limbs, can squeak and lack a tail at the adult stage of their life cycle.
These kinds of amphibians can further be classified either tailless for the case of toads, those with tails at one stage in their life cycle such as the frogs which have tails at early stages of their lives although it’s lost at adulthood or either short or long hind limbs.
Most of these amphibians can swim especially while living in water and jump while living on land. They can manage a height of more than two meters and a distance of three meters especially when they are running away from their predators; the snakes.
The second largest kinds of amphibians are the caudate. So far, more than 450 species have been discovered and successfully classified. Examples are the mud puppies, sirens, water dogs, salamanders, newts etc. Members of this species have four hind limbs with an exception of the sirens with well-developed tails which enables the aquatic ones to swim effectively.
The Andvias davidanius which is also found in this category is the largest amphibian ever discovered.
The last kinds of amphibians are the Gymnophiona which consist of the least number of species. Presently, about 50 species have been successfully classified. The most common member of this category is the caecilian.
These kinds of amphibians have reduced segmented bodies with reduced tails with most living in soils besides living in water. They also have functionless eyes.