8 Amphibian Facts – I Love These Animals!

amphibian facts

This wood frog may become frozen during winter! Photo via Flickr.

Here are 8 amazing amphibian facts that are sure to show you how cool these animals are.  I wonder if you think amphibians are as cool as I do?

Ever since I was a little kid I remember being fascinated about frogs and tadpoles.  Frogs and tadpoles are one of those animals that all kids learn about because they are neat, easy to see, and great to learn about.  There are so many other cool amphibian facts beyond the fact that they live part of their life in water and part on land.  Here are just a few of my favorites.

8 Amazing Amphibian Facts

Most amphibians begin life breathing water and change into an adult form that breathes air!  This means they actually begin life with gills and then grow lungs.

amphibian facts

Amphibians were around long before dinosaurs!  Photo via Flickr.

The ancestors of todays amphibians were the very first animals to start living on land rather than the ocean. That happened about 370 million years ago, which was 140 million years before the dinosaurs!

All adult amphibians shed their outer layer of skin several times a year. They do this to keep their skin moist and healthy. Unbelievably, most of them eat the skin they just shed!

amphibian facts

A tiger salamander.

Salamanders have an amazing defense mechanism. When they are attacked they can let their tail fall off, which wiggles on the ground. This distracts the predator so the salamander can sneak off.  Salamanders can regrow their tails and even their legs!

They can breathe directly through their skin!  What!?!  It is true.  They need to keep their skin moist for this to work.  The oxygen gets absorbed through their skin and enters into their blood cells where it travels to the rest of their body.  They get about 1/4 of their oxygen this way.

amphibian facts

This frog looks like he is coming out of hibernation. Photo via Flickr.

During winter, amphibians in cold areas will enter a state of dormancy, like hibernation.  Some will bury themselves in mud under water and others will simply dig down into the ground.  Others may just hide in cracks in logs or under rocks.

The wood frog lives far north in Alaska and Canada and allows itself to completely freeze during winter.  Then in the spring it thaws out and is active again!

Male Darwins frogs hold their babies (as tadpoles) in their vocal sacks until they metamorphose into frogs.