Amphibians and reptiles are two groups of animals. Both are cold-blooded animals with backbones. Amphibians have soft skin with slippery secretions on them. Reptiles lay eggs hard. They undergo incomplete metamorphosis because their life cycle consists of eggs, larvae, and adult stages. Their skin is covered with reinforced external scales or plates.

The main difference between amphibians and reptiles is that amphibians live in the aquatic environment during their larval stage and adults migrate ashore while reptiles are adapted to live in terrestrial environments. Caecilians, frogs, toads, salamanders, water lizards, and mud are examples of amphibians. Turtles, turtles, snake lizards, crocodiles, crocodiles, and tuatara are reptiles.

What is Amphibian?



Amphibians refer to cold-blooded vertebrate animals that have an aquatic gill larval respiratory stage and adult stages of terrestrial lung breathing. Most amphibians are ectothermic animals. Thus, they depend on external sources to regulate body temperature. Their metabolic processes require regular body temperature. Amphibian skin is thin, soft, hairless, and porous. It contains mucous glands and poisons.

Ten pairs of cranial nerves begin in the brain in amphibians. They have two eyes with color vision. Vision is limited to a narrow range of color spectrum. Amphibians have large mouths with small teeth. However, some amphibians swallow their whole food. The neck consists of a single vertebra, limiting head articulation. Some amphibians have four legs. Each limb consists of webbed feet and a varying number of digits. But, real nails and claws don’t exist. Some amphibians such as caecilians do not have limbs. Some amphibians such as tadpoles use their rib lines to feel changes in water pressure, finding their prey.

Amphibians are unisexual animals showing external fertilization. Eggs are placed in a humid environment. The larval stage is aquatic, and their respiration occurs through the gills. The adult stage is morphologically different from larvae. Move into the terrestrial environment and breathe through the lungs. Amphibians are the only vertebrates that experience incomplete metamorphosis.

Some amphibians such as the Japanese giant salamander do not have natural predators that can live for about 80 years. Aposematic staining and nocturnal activity can protect amphibians from predation. Slippery skin and toxic substances also help avoid predation.

What is Reptile?


Reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrate animals that have dry, scaly skin and lay eggs on the ground. Because reptiles are cold-blooded animals, they regulate their body temperature according to the ambient temperature. Reptiles have waterproof skin due to the presence of a stimulated epidermal layer. Their skin is thinner than mammals and has no skin layer. Some reptiles such as turtles have hard shells. The others have soft or hard scales.

The vision of most reptiles is adapted to during the day. The visual depth perception of reptiles is more advanced than amphibians and mammals. Most reptiles are tetrapods. However, some reptiles such as snakes do not have limbs. Their spinal column helps move. Reptiles have big brains and small brains. They have twelve pairs of cranial nerves.

Reptiles are also unisexual animals with internal fertilization. The eggs can be covered with chalky or rough shells.  The tails of some reptiles can be released as a defense mechanism. The main defense mechanism of snakes is sending poisons to the enemy.

Similarities Between Amphibians and Reptiles

  • Both amphibians and reptiles belong to the phylum chordate under the kingdom of Animalia.
  • Both amphibians and reptiles are ectothermic (cold-blooded) animals.
  • Some amphibians and reptiles have four limbs.
  • Both amphibians and reptiles have hearts with three rooms.
  • Many amphibians and reptiles can change skin color by concentrating or eliminating melanin.
  • Both amphibians and reptiles are mostly omnivores.
  • Many amphibians and reptiles have sharp eyesight, helping to catch prey by snapping their tongues.
  • Amphibians and reptiles use biting, inflating, and camouflage to avoid predation.
  • Both amphibians and reptiles have the same hole that functions as the genital, intestinal, and urinary tracts called cloaca.
  • Both amphibians and reptiles rely on spinal segmental reflexes for movement.

Difference Between Amphibians and Reptiles


Amphibians: Amphibians are cold-blooded vertebrate animals that have an aquatic gill larval stage and an adult stage of terrestrial lung breathing.

Reptiles: Reptiles are cold-blooded, vertebrate animals that have dry, scaly skin and lay eggs on the ground.


Amphibians: Amphibians first evolved around 370 million years ago.

Reptiles: Reptiles first evolved around 315 million years ago.


Amphibians: Amphibians are animals with two modes of existence.

Reptiles: Reptiles are creeping or crawling animals.


Amphibians: Amphibians belong to the Amphibian class.

Reptiles: Reptiles belonging to the class Reptiles.

Number of Species

Amphibians: About 5,500 amphibian species can be identified worldwide.

Reptiles: About 6,500 reptile species can be identified worldwide.



Amphibians: Amphibians live partly in water and shaded land.

Reptiles: Reptiles are adapted to live in terrestrial environments.

Cover the skin

Amphibians: Amphibians have soft skin that is protected by slippery mucous secretions.

Reptiles: Reptiles have skin with hard or soft scales.

Respiratory Method

Amphibians: Amphibians use gills or lungs to breathe.

Reptiles: Reptiles use the lungs to breathe.

Fertilization of amphibian and reptiles

Amphibians: Amphibians undergo internal fertilization.

Reptiles: Reptiles undergo external fertilization.

Reproductive Mode

Amphibians: Oviviparity is a mode of reproduction in amphibians.

Reptiles: Oviparity is a reproductive mode in reptiles.


amphibian egg

Amphibians: Amphibian eggs are covered with transparent gelatinous covers.

Reptiles: Reptiles have amniotic eggs, which are hard or rough.


Amphibians: Amphibians are born in the motherland or are soft with gills and tails.

Reptiles: Reptiles are born on land.


Amphibians: Amphibians have four short limbs.

Reptiles: Some reptiles have four limbs. But, the others don’t have limbs.

Cranial nerves

Amphibians: Amphibians have ten pairs of cranial nerves.

Reptiles: Reptiles have twelve pairs of cranial nerves.


Amphibians: Amphibians’ main nitrogenous waste is ammonia.

Reptiles: The main nitrogenous waste from reptiles is uric acid.


Amphibians: Amphibians survive through toxic secretions through the skin and bites.

Reptiles: Reptiles survive with claws, whips, venomous, and bites.

Conclusion – Amphibian Vs. Reptile

Amphibians and reptiles are two types of chordates. Both are cold-blooded animals that have differences in their skin as an adaptation to their habitat. Amphibians live in water and land. But, reptiles live in terrestrial habitats. The main difference between amphibians and reptiles is the habitat of each type of animal.


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