Amphibians live all over the world. Most live in warm, moist habitats near ponds and streams, but some live in grasslands or deserts. There are nearly 4,000 kinds of amphibians in the world, with about 15 in the Rocky Mountains.
Amphibians are a special animal that live part of its life on land and part in the water. Most undergo a metamorphosis from water breathing larva to air breathing adults.
Origin of Word – Amphibian
The word itself tells you about the unique life that these animals live. It comes from the Greek words of amphi (both) and bios (life) to create the word amphibios (meaning living both on land and in water).
The following are a few of the more common amphibians of the Rocky Mountains:
Size: 3 – 5 inches
Lifespan: 2 – 4 years
Description: Green with dark green spots, or light brown with dark brown spots.
Habitat: Wetlands, along rivers and in meadows.
Long Toed Salamander
Size: 3-5 inches
Lifespan: 6-10 years
Description: top of body yellow, sides blackish with white spots.
Habitat: wet evergreen forests or alpine meadows.
Size: 7 – 14 inches.
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Description: Color varies, can be yellowish-olive with black spots or gray/brown with black spots
Habitat: They live in burrows up to 2 feet underground near ponds, lakes, or slow moving streams.
Notes: These are the largest land dwelling salamander in the world. They generally feed at night.
Western or Boreal Toad
Size: 4 inches
Lifespan: 9-11 years
Description: Grayish green or dark brown. Black warts with red dots.
Habitat: In and near fresh water, such as forests, meadows, and grasslands.
Notes: They do not jump instead they walk or make small hops.