Amphibians   Mar 18, 2008   2:00/1:00 MT/PT
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Amphibian Glossary

aestivation  A summer version of hibernation. Especially prevalent in very hot dry regions.
amphibian A vertebrate that usually has two stages in its life. Spends part of its life in water and part on land.  Usually has moist skin.
aquatic Living or growing in or on the water.
bufotoxin Family of toxic substances found in the parotoid glands, skin and venom of many toads
caecilians Caecilians (pronounced seh-SILL-yens) are tropical amphibians that look like large worms or slick snakes. They have no arms or legs, and sometimes it’s hard to tell which end is the head and which is the tail!
camouflage Animals ability to hide within their environment by color or shape.
carnivores  An animal that eats other animals. (Meat-eater)  Also called a consumer - gets its energy by eating other living things as food.
complex Complicated.
distinctive A feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing. (unique)
ectotherm A cold-blooded animal; that is, an animal whose body temperature varies with the temperature of its surroundings. Ectotherms cannot produce their own body heat.
extinct No longer in existence; lost or especially having died out.
extinction The loss of an entire species.
fossil What is left of a plant or animal that lived long ago.
frogs The frog is an amphibian in the order Anura. Characterized by long hind legs, short body, webbed digits, protruding eyes and teh absence of a tail.
glucose A simple sugar that is a major energy source for all cellular and bodily functions.
habitat The environment to which an organism is adapted.
herbivores  An animal that eats plants.


 To be dormant or inactive.  Normal body activities slow down.
invertebrates An animal without a backbone.
Jurassic Period  The second of the Mesozoic Ages. From 206 to 144 million years ago.
larva The immature, wingless, feeding stage of an insect that undergoes complete metamorphosis. Larvae is two or more larva.
larval Relating to or typical of a larva
metamorphosis The changes in shape and abilities that certain animals go through as they grow from young animals to adults. Tadpoles become frogs through metamorphosis
newt Small usually bright-colored semiaquatic salamanders
population  A group of organisms of same species living together in a an ecosystem.
protein One of the three nutrients that provides calories to the body. Protein is an essential nutrient that helps build many parts of the body, including muscle, bone, skin, and blood.
reptiles A cold blooded animal that breathes air and has scales or hard plates. It lays eggs with tough but soft shells. Snakes and turtles are reptiles.
salamanders Common name for a group of approximately 500 species of amphibians typically characterized by slender bodies, short legs, and long tails.
toads Toads are frogs. The family Bufonidae, one of the frog families, has over three hundred toad species. Members of this family have drier skins and many have short hind legs for walking instead of doing much hopping.
vegetation generic term for the plant life found in an area.



An animal that has a backbone. Humans, dogs, birds, and frogs are vertebrates.
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