Difference between Reptiles and Amphibians

Reptiles vs. Amphibians

What is Difference between Reptiles and Amphibians? Reptiles and amphibians are distantly related to each other, hence certain similarities may arise between them. In both cases they are ectothermal animals, which mean that they are cold-blooded. They are also vertebrates (have backbones) and except for crocodiles and other lobsters, almost all amphibians and reptiles have a heart of 3 chambers or cavities.

Difference between Reptiles and Amphibians

Despite all the above, here below this post is all about the difference between reptiles and amphibians.


Reptiles live especially on land, although some reptiles such as alligators, crocodiles and snakes may spend a lot of time in the water; do not live under it. The word reptile derives from reptile and has the following meanings: “that creeps”, “that acts hidden”, “and that slips”. Generally, reptiles have dry, scaly skin. They breathe thanks to the lungs and lay eggs. They live on all continents, except in Antarctica; and inhabit different environmental conditions.

There are more than 6,500 known reptile species. The animals in this group should sunbathe or find a warm place to go into heat and then look for a place to cool off , because as mentioned above, they are ectothermic. Reptiles crawl and crawl, so they have short or weak limbs; they may even have no limbs. Their eggs are hard, in some cases they are placed in the earth and in other cases they are kept in their bodies until they hatch.

They are born on the land and the offspring are independent from the beginning (they must find their own food and shelter). The young are physically similar to adults. They grow in size, but do not undergo any metamorphosis. They defend themselves from predators by using their claws, whipping with their tails and giving tremendous bites. Some species are venomous, like the monster of Gila; among others.


Amphibians live on both land and water. The word “amphibian” derives from the Greek word amphibios ” living in two elements”. The animals of this group are born in the water and when they mature they develop legs and lungs, which allow them to survive on land. Early amphibians were a crucial link in the later emergence of reptiles. They were the first animals to leave the sea to venture into the land.

There are about 5,500 known amphibian species. They live part of their life in the water and the other part in the earth. They are vertebrates and like the reptiles, they are also ectothermic. Some examples of amphibians well known to us are frogs and toads , salamanders, newts and Cecilias.

In addition to having lungs as in the case of reptiles, amphibians have gills. Its front extremities are usually short and long the hind legs; with his webbed fingers. Generally, amphibian eggs are protected with a clear gelatinous covering; which contains mucoproteins and mucopolysaccharides. This cover absorbs water and gases. Eggs are deposited in water or in places with high humidity.

When amphibians are small, they look very different compared to when they reach adulthood. Young amphibians are known as larvae and as they develop they change their diet, lifestyle and body shape. To defend against predators, they use toxic secretions through the skin or bites. They have no claws or nails.

Key differences between Reptiles and Amphibians

  • Amphibians spend part of their life in the water and part in the earth, while reptiles live especially on land.
  • Reptiles can live in dry environments, while amphibians need to be close to humidity.
  • The skin of reptiles can be hard or soft, while that of amphibians is usually soft and moist; protected by a slippery mucus secretion.
  • Reptiles do not undergo a major metamorphosis as they develop, but amphibians do.