Amphibians & Reptiles of New England & Atlantic Canada/Canadian Maritimes
Amphibians (Amphibia) are a class of animals from the phylum chordata (Chordates). They are exothermic animals, meaning that they get their heat from the environment instead of producing heat internally. Our native amphibians are frogs, toads, and salamanders. Caecilians also belong to this class, but are not native to New England and Atlantic Canada.
Amphibians versus Reptiles:
Amphibians go through metamorphosis, their eggs don’t have a hard shell, and they have smooth/moist skin, whereas reptiles don’t have a larval stage, their eggs are leathery and they have dry scaly skin. The amphibian double life starts as a legless tadpole with gills and a two chambered heart. As they go through metamorphosis, they grow legs, lose their gills, and develop a 3 chambered heart and lungs. (Mudpuppies keep their gills as an adult). Reptiles are born with a two chambered heart and lungs –there is no point in their life cycle where they exhibit gills.
Amphibian and Reptile Reproduction:
Frogs and toads exhibit external fertilization, and salamanders and caecilians show internal fertilization. All reptiles use internal fertilization.
Click on the links below to discover more about our native reptiles and amphibians in New England and the Canadian Maritimes/Atlantic Canada.