Amphibians vs. Reptiles

The difference between amphibians and reptiles is that amphibian live dual life, half in water and a half on land while reptiles live on the land throughout their life.

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Amphibians vs. Reptiles

Amphibians and reptiles are the two groups of animals. They have many differences in their physical appearance, internal structure, and life cycle. Amphibian live a dual life living the half part of their life on land and half in the water while reptiles live throughout their life on land. Reptiles breathe through their lungs and have scales on their body which retain moisture.

Amphibians and reptiles have many common features too because they belong to the same phylum and subphylum. Both are cold-blooded animals and use camouflage effect for their defense and protection. Both reptiles and amphibians are studied in the same branch of zoology knowns as herpetology. The person who keeps these animals is termed as “herpes”.

Amphibians breathe via gills in the water and use lung for respiration on the land while there are not gills in the reptiles because they do not live in water and hence no need for gills. Amphibians are oviparous, i.e., they lay eggs and embryos are inside the eggs. Eggs are hatched outside the body of the mother. In reptiles, some species are oviparous while some are viviparous, i.e., the embryo develops inside the womb of the mother.

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In amphibians, external fertilization occurs while in reptiles internal fertilization occurs. Amphibians have a narrow range of color spectrum and can visualize only a few colors while reptiles have a wide range of color spectrum and can see a number of colors. Amphibians have a heart which is three chambered. The heart of reptiles is also three chambered, but their ventricle is more developed and divided by a septum.

The mode of protection of amphibians from invaders is the toxins secreted through their body while reptiles have hard scales on their body which protect them. Toxins are also produced from their teeth and nails. Amphibians have webbed feet which are more convenient for jumping and swimming. Reptiles have four limbs for running which also help them in swimming. Snakes have no limbs, and they crawl. Amphibians’ eggs are covered with gel, and they lay eggs in water while reptiles’ eggs have a protective covering and they lay eggs on land.

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Comparison Chart

Basis Amphibians Reptiles
DefinitionThese are cold-blooded animals which spend half of their life span in water and half on land.These are also cold-blooded animals, but they spend the whole of their life on land.
Mode of respiration They use gills for respiration in water while use lungs while respiration on land.They use lungs for respiration on the land. They do not need gills.
Mode of reproduction Amphibians are oviparous. The embryo is developed in the egg inside the womb of the mother, and then mother hatches the eggs.Some species of reptiles are oviparous while some are viviparous. Their embryo is developed inside the womb of the mother.
Fertilization Their type of fertilization is external.Their type of fertilization is internal.
Mode of protection They release toxins from the surface of their body which protects them from foreign invaders.They have scales on their whole body which protect them from foreign invaders. They also release toxins from teeth and nails.
Mode of walking They have webbed feet which are very convenient for swimming and also help in walking and jumping.They have four limbs which help them in running and swimming. But snakes have no limbs that are the reason they crawl.
Eggs covering Their eggs have gel, and they lay eggs in water.Their eggs have a protective covering, and they lay eggs on land.
Heart Their heart is three chambered.Their heart is also three chambered, but their ventricle is more developed. They have septate ventricle.
Color spectrum They can view only a few colors. They have a narrow range of the color spectrum.They have a broad range of color spectrum and can see a number of colors.
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What are Amphibians?

Amphibians are the animals which live a dual life, half life span (larval stage) in water and half life span (adult life) on the land. During the life span spent in the water, they have gills for breathing in water while during adult life they have lungs which help them in breathing on land. These may be found in marine water, freshwater, oceans or tonsorial, etc.

They maintain their body temperature according to the external environment of the body, and that is why they are called cold-blooded animals or ectothermic animals. Fertilization in amphibians is of the external type , i.e., male sperm and female egg are fused in water with each other, and the newborn lives in the water until the larval stage ends.

Their eggs are covered with a get like substance which is very smooth and protects the eggs. Their skin is slippery and porous. They have the ability to change the color of their body according to the environment, and this effect is called a camouflage effect. They release toxins from the surface of their body which protects them from enemies. Their examples can be given as toads, frogs, and salamanders, etc.

What are Reptiles?

Reptiles are ectothermic animals, i.e., they adjust the temperature of their body according to the external environment. They live on land and have lungs for respiration. They have no gills and even not need the gills. They have an internal mode of fertilization. Some species among them are oviparous, and some are viviparous.

They have four limbs which help them in running, walking and even swimming. They have dry, scaly skin which provides them protection. They release toxins from their teeth and nails to kill the invaders. Their skin is not permeable to water. They incubate their eggs by digging into sand, dirt or gravel. They do so to maintain the temperature of the eggs. Their eggs have protective covering also. They can see a number of colors and distinguish them. Thus they have a wide range of the color spectrum. Their examples can be given as snake, lizards, and crocodile, etc.

Key differences

  1. Amphibians spent the larval stage of their life in water and adult phase of their life on land while reptiles spend the whole of their life on land.
  2. Amphibians have camouflage ability while reptiles do not have.
  3. Amphibians are oviparous while some species of reptiles are oviparous and some are viviparous.
  4. Amphibians have webbed feet which help them in jumping, walking, running and swimming while reptiles have four limbs which help them in the running.
  5. Amphibians have both gills and lungs for respiration in water and on land respectively while reptiles have lungs for breathing on land.

Conclusion

Amphibians and reptiles are two important phyla of animals. The biology students must know the differences between their life cycle, structure and fertilization methods. In the above article, we learned the clear differences between amphibians and reptiles.

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