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Amphibians: Glossary

A

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

B

bufotoxin
Family of toxic substances found in the parotoid glands, skin and venom of many toads

C

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
An animal's ability to use its color or shape to hide within its environment
carnivores
An animal that eats other animals. Also called a meat-eater or consumer - gets its energy by eating other living things as food
complex
Complicated

D

distinctive
A feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing; unique

E

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 having died out
extinction
The loss of an entire species

F

fossil
What is left of a plant or animal that lived long ago, usually molded or embedded in rock
frogs
The frog is an amphibian in the order Anura. Characterized by long hind legs, short body, webbed digits, protruding eyes and the absence of a tail

G

glucose
A simple sugar that is a major energy source for all cellular and bodily functions

H

habitat
The environment to which an organism is adapted
herbivores
An animal that eats plants
hibernate
To be dormant or inactive. Normal body activities slow down

I

invertebrates
An animal without a backbone

J

Jurassic Period
The second of the Mesozoic Ages. From 206 to 144 million years ago

L

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

M

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

N

newts
Small, usually bright-colored, semiaquatic salamanders

P

Poison dart frog
the common name of a group of frogs in the family Dendrobatidae which are native to tropical Central and South America. These species are active during the daytime and often have brightly colored bodies
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

R

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

S

salamanders
Common name for a group of approximately 500 species of amphibians typically characterized by slender bodies, short legs, and long tails

T

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

V

vegetation
generic term for the plant life found in an area
vertebrates
An animal that has a backbone. Humans, dogs, birds, and frogs are vertebrates
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