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Difference between reptiles and amphibians

Vertebrate animals are a subphylum or division of the animal kingdom that involves all those animals that have bone skeleton, internal bones that may well be cartilaginous. They are concentrated in five groups that are mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians.

Many times some amphibians are often confused with some reptiles and some reptiles with some amphibians due to some similarities and similar kinship. However, there are some key differences between reptiles and amphibians that if you know them, you will know unequivocally if the animal in which you have doubts about them, are reptiles or are amphibians . These differences can be known simply if you are a little observant , a little clever and if you know the flora and fauna in a basic way, since many of the differences that we are going to explain here are visible to the naked eye.

Knowing the differences between reptiles and amphibians will also allow you to acquire knowledge to impress other people by showing that you have a large amount of general knowledge and that you are a wise and cultured person. For all this, in this article is going to explain in detail any significant difference between reptiles and amphibians, so that in this way you can  never be confused again if you have any questions of this kind.


The word  reptile which means drag or slide. From there it is derived that the animals of this group have short or weak legs and some species do not have legs. The main characteristic of reptiles is that they are cold-blooded animals. Reptiles live essentially on the land, although some species such as crocodiles can spend a lot of time in the water, however, they do not live in the water.

Reptiles are oviparous animals, they lay their eggs (of hard shell) in the ground or keep them in their bodies until the moment of hatching, the offspring are usually the same as adults and do not undergo metamorphosis, in addition the fecundation of the reptiles is internal

In the same way, among other characteristics of reptiles we can say that they have dry and scaly skin, their breathing is purely pulmonary and they are mostly carnivores.

For example : Crocodiles, turtles and snakes are reptiles.


Amphibians are vertebrate  that live both on land and in water. Most species of amphibians have hind legs larger and stronger than the front ones, since, that favors their locomotion in water, they are also cold-blooded animals.

Amphibians are ovuliparous animals, which means that they have fertilization and embryonic development outside the body of the female, it should be noted that this process takes place in the water. In this type of reproduction, both male and female discharge their sex cells in water, where embryos are formed inside a soft shell egg and undergo a process of metamorphosis since the embryo arises, becomes a larva and then in adult

The amphibians have naked skin, provided with glands that keep it moist and thus avoid dehydration when they are out of the water. Amphibians have branchial, cutaneous and pulmonary respiration; additionally, they do not possess teeth and amphibians are mostly insectivores.

For example : salamanders, newts, frogs and toads are amphibians.

3 mains was to differentiate reptiles from amphibians

1. Habitat:

The first thing is to know where each species lives, being the most obvious difference and the simplest to see of all the differences between reptiles and amphibians. The word amphibian itself says that they live both in the water and on land, needing to be in contact with the water at some time to avoid problems. On the other hand, reptiles, although they like to live in the water and tend to be near humid places, do not need to live in the water and really live in the land although they are seen near the water, like for example the crocodiles.

2. Metamorphosis:

Another key difference between both is the metamorphosis, which exists only in the species of amphibians, being disappeared in the species of reptiles. Metamorphosis is a radical change in the physical and behavioral characteristics of amphibians, marking the passage from childhood to adulthood. A good example is frogs, which when they are not developed are tadpoles, which are black, have a tail and live in the water, something totally opposite to frogs. On the other hand, in the case of reptiles, they do not have any type of transformation, being exactly the same in appearance when they are young than when they are adults, there being the only difference in the size of them, being an evolutionary characteristic showing that it is not necessary for them to have to make a metamorphosis to grow.

3.The skin:

With the exception of some species of amphibians such as frogs, amphibians tend to have much more moist skin than the skin of reptiles, which when living in the water , usually have moist skin as a means to adapt to a most correct way to the aquatic environment in which they coexist. In addition, the skin of amphibians is usually protected by a kind of mucous membrane that protects them from the outside environment.

We present a comparative table where the basic differences between reptiles and amphibians are indicated:

Reptiles Amphibians
They lay eggs with a hard, waterproof shell. They lay soft eggs.
They present scaly and dry skin. They have moist skin.
Your breathing is pulmonary. His breathing is gill, lung and cutaneous.
They do not undergo metamorphosis. They undergo metamorphosis.
The process of fertilization is internal. The process of fertilization is external.
They have teeth. They do not have teeth.
They are carnivores in their majority. They are insectivores.

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