Difference Between Reptiles vs Amphibians

Difference Between Reptiles vs Amphibians

Anyone’s knowledge of biology leaves a lot to be desired if they cannot spot the difference between reptiles and amphibians. Indeed, those are creatures with unique features that distinguish one from the other.

So, in this informative guide, you will understand the unique traits that make them stand out from each other and how those features affect their everyday activities. That said, we start with the definition of each term.

Definition of Reptiles

Reptiles are land-dwelling creatures that do not undergo any form of metamorphosis. For them to bring forth offspring, they lay eggs on land. Another crucial trait that will snag your attention after looking at them is their skin. They are generally scaly and hard; this type of skin is known as keratinous skin. The good thing, however, is that water does not penetrate through it.

For instance, one can see this skin on crocodiles and snakes. Well, it allows reptiles to cope in a saline environment. They can incubate eggs by digging a nest into gravel. You can also see them digging into sand and dirt. Doing so helps maintain the temperature of the eggs.

It goes without saying that they usually have four limbs. However, some of them do not have limbs. For example, snakes do not have any. Some crawl while others also jump. There are even those reptiles that can run on water.

Definition of Amphibians

Amphibians are creatures of dual habitat because they live in both water and on land. With respect to homeostasis, these creatures are termed ectothermic, meaning that they are animals that react to atmospheric temperature to gain or lose warmth.

Female amphibians lay eggs just like reptiles. Once the young hatch, they live in water until they are strong enough to dwell on land. Put simply, they stay in water for a long time until they grow beyond this early stage. Over time, they develop into adults. A close look at their bodies shows that they have a smooth gel-like substance all over it.

When they are in water, they use their gills to breathe to be able to survive in that environment. On land, their lifestyle is entirely different because they use lungs for breathing. Interestingly, they sometimes change their skin color to stay safe on land. Having come thus far, let us now discuss the difference between amphibians and reptiles in detail.

Main Differences Between Reptiles vs Amphibians

The table below explains the reptiles vs amphibians comparison in detail.

Basis of ComparisonAmphibiansReptiles
DefinitionThese are egg-laying animals that can survive both on land and in waterThese are egg-laying animals that live on land but not in water
ExamplesFrogs, newts, salamanders, and toadsLizards, snakes, crocodiles, and turtles
MetamorphosisYes, they use gills to breathe in the water until they have lungsNo, they just increase in size and maturity as they grow to adulthood
Self-defense Some secrete a toxic substance through their skin and bite a perceived enemyThey have scales that act as a shield and nails and teeth for scratching and biting a perceived enemy 
 LimbsThese animals have short forelimbs and long hindlimbsFour limbs are the norm, but there are a few exceptions like snakes that have none
HabitatLives on land and waterSeen on land with exceptions like sea turtles, crocodiles, and some snakes that can enter water
Circulatory system3-chambered heartA ventricle and a 3-chambered heart
BreathingThrough lungs and gillsThrough lungs

Difference Between Reptiles and Amphibians: Conclusion

In conclusion, you have seen the clear-cut disparity between the two animals. There is no doubt that they have similarities because they lay eggs and are cold-blooded as well. Despite the resemblances, the dissimilarities are obvious.

Looking at amphibians vs reptiles, the primary distinction is the habitat they exist in. While the former dwells on both land and water, the latter dwells only on land. Finally, they have other distinguishing traits as shown in the table above.