Totem Talk

Working With The Animal Totems


What is an Amphibian?

Salamanders, frogs and toads are amphibians. Some amphibians have long tails and slender bodies. They live near water. Unlike reptiles, they do not have scaly skin. The skin is smooth and moist. Mucous glands help to keep the skin moist. Blood vessels just beneath the surface allow the amphibian to use its skin to help it breathe. Some secrete poisons from their skins. Special color cells allow the amphibian to change its skin color by expanding or contracting. If a limb is lost to a predator, some amphibians can re-grow a new limb. Amphibians are cold-blooded and those living in cold regions hibernate during winter. Eggs are laid in jelly-like masses in the water, or in other moist places. Some amphibian larvae have gills and live underwater until they metamorphose into land-dwelling forms. Many adult amphibians are carnivorous, but larvae are herbivorous (vegetarian).

Click on the name of the AMPHIBIAN to see a picture of its tracks and some natural history information about it.

Some of the amphibians you will find on the page above are:

• Pacific Treefrog
• Western Toad
• Foothill Yellow-legged Frog
• Salamanders
• Rough-skinned Newt

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