Clyde Amphibian and Reptile Group

Amphibians

The Class Amphibia (or amphibians) includes three Orders:

  • Anura (frogs and toads) – about 6,800 species worldwide
  • Caudata or Urodela (newts and salamanders) – about 700 species
  • Gymnophiona or Apoda (caecilians) – about 200 species

Most people are familiar with frogs, toads, newts and salamanders, but are less familiar with caecilians, which superficially resemble large earthworms. Little is known about most caecilians as they mostly live hidden underground or underwater.

All amphibians are cold-blooded animals and most metamorphose from a juvenile to an adult form. They cannot generate their own body heat, instead relying on the temperature of their environment to help them keep warm or cool enough to survive. There are over 7,700 species of amphibians, and they inhabit all continents except Antarctica, living in varied habitats such as rainforests, rivers and streams, deserts and alpine environments.

 

Amphibians are important and beneficial in many ways:

  • They play an important role in nature as both predator and prey, sustaining the delicate balance of nature.
  • They eat pest insects, benefiting successful agriculture around the world and minimizing the spread of disease, including malaria.
  • The skin of amphibians has substances that protect them from some microbes and viruses, offering possible medical cures for a variety of human diseases, including AIDS.
  • Frogs have had a special place in various human cultures for centuries, cherished as agents of life and good luck.

 

In the Clyde area, 5 species of Amphibians are mainly found:

    © Howard Inns   COMMON FROG    

   © Imperial College, London   COMMON TOAD                                

    © Fred Holmes   SMOOTH NEWT    

  © Froglife   PALMATE NEWT

 © Barry Kemp, www.uksafari.com   GREAT CRESTED NEWT

© 2013 All rights reserved.

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