Amphibians Herpetology is the study of amphibians & reptiles
Amphibians Amphibian means “double life” Live both in water and on land Includes: > Frogs/Toads > Newts/Salamanders > Caecilians
Amphibians Classification Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Amphibia Order Anura (Frogs/Toads) Order Caudata (Salamanders/Newts/waterdogs) Order Gymnophiona (Caecilians)
Amphibians Characteristics Ectothermic: animals whose body heat is regulated by the external environment = “cold blooded” Lives in water as a larva/Land as an adult Breaths with gills as larva/Lungs as an adult Moist skin with mucus glands Lacks scales and true claws
Amphibians More Characteristics Do not have adaptations for a complete terrestrial (land) existence Are tetrapods: tetra = 4 pod = foot Fresh water dependent Have the ability to breath through their skin Many contain poisons in their skin
Amphibians Video Questions 1. Amphibian means ______________. 2. How are larval amphibians like fish? After an amphibian’s transformation, they not only look different, but they occupy ________. Amphibians have been around for about ___. What were amphibians first to do?
Review Characteristics Amphibians
Amphibians Respiration: Larva exchange gases through both their skin and gills Adults exchange gases through both their skin and lungs Cutaneous Breathers: Breath through their skin
Amphibians Circulation: Have a 3 chambered heart “Double loop” circulatory system 1st Loop Carries oxygen-poor blood from heart to lungs & skin, and takes oxygen-rich blood from lungs & skin back to the heart. 2nd Loop Carries oxygen-rich blood from heart to the rest of the body, and oxygen-poor blood from body back to the heart
Amphibians Reproduction: Many frogs show Sexual Dimorphism. Sexual Dimorphism: Differences between the bodies and colors of males and females In some species, males and females are hard to tell apart. In such species, male frogs often produce a release call when clasped by another male. During mating season, researchers can use release calls to tell which frogs are male and which are female.
Amphibians Reproduction: Amphibian eggs do not have shells, and will dry out if they are not kept moist Most eggs are laid in water MOST parents abandon their eggs after they lay them
Amphibians Reproduction: Male frogs are typically smaller than females Once a female has been found, he will grasp her trunk with his forelimbs. This embrace is called amplexus.
Amphibians Reproduction: Eggs are fertilized externally. Males do NOT have a penis As the female discharges eggs (usually in water), the male sheds sperm over the eggs. Large masses of eggs are called frogspawn.
Amphibians Reproduction: When there is NO parental care when raising the young, the female releases about 200 eggs More energy is spent making large amounts of eggs, while none is spent caring for the young If there is parental care when raising the young, the female releases only a few eggs Less energy is spent making so many eggs, and more is used in caring for the young
Amphibians Reproduction: Eggs are encased in a sticky, transparent jelly that attaches the egg mass to underwater plants The jelly nourishes the developing embryos until they hatch into larvae called tadpoles/pollywogs. Embryo: Early developmental stage after fertilization.
Amphibians Reproduction: After the babies hatch, they will undergo metamorphosis. Metamorphosis: a profound change in form from one stage to the next in the life history of an organism
Amphibians Unusual Reproduction: Darwin’s Frog(Rhinoderma darwinii) Females lay their eggs on moist soil When the eggs hatch, the male “swallows” the tadpoles to store them in his specialized vocal sacs. The tadpoles stay there through metamorphosis (6 weeks), and then the mature froglets are released
Amphibians Unusual Reproduction: Midwife Toad(Alytes) After fertilization, the male wraps the eggs around his legs to protect them from predators When they are ready to hatch, the male wades in the water to release his tadpoles
Amphibians Unusual Reproduction: Surinam Toad(Pipa pipa) The female releases about 60-100 eggs After fertilization, the male pats down the eggs onto the female’s back which embeds them into her skin Pockets are formed around each egg The larvae develop through the tadpole stage into froglets, eventually pushing themselves out of their pocket
Amphibians Unusual Reproduction: Coast Foam Nest Tree Frog When summer rainfall starts males call from branches overhanging water The female churns her secretions into a large white foam nest into which she deposits her eggs. These are then fertilized by the males. The eggs develop into tadpoles inside the hardening nest. After about 5 days the tadpoles become active and fall into the water below, living there until the metamorphosis is complete.
Amphibians Feeding: Tadpoles are filter feeders or herbivores(graze on algae) Adults are strictly carnivores Cloaca: where digestive wastes, urine, and eggs or sperm leave the body
Amphibians Feeding: Some have teeth Maxillary teeth: very small cone shaped teeth around the upper edge of the jaw Vomerine teeth: on the roof of the mouth There are NO teeth on the lower jaw They use their teeth to catch and hold onto prey as they swallow them whole, not for chewing
Sense Organs Vision: The eyes are covered by a transparent, movable membrane called a nictitating membrane. Is a transparent or translucent third eyelid present in some animals that can be drawn across the eye for protection and to moisten the eye while also keeping visibility. Nictitating Membrane
Tympanic Membrane Sense Organs Hearing: The inner ear detects sound. Sounds are transmitted to the inner ear by the tympanic membrane, or eardrum. Sound 1st strikes the tympanic membrane, and vibrations are sent to the fluid-filled inner ear.
Amphibians Communication: Frogs & toads produce a rich variety of sounds, calls, and songs during their courtship & mating rituals. The “callers” are usually males Advertises their: Location Mating readiness Willingness to defend their territory
Amphibians *Video Communication: Certain species that have a narrow mating season due to ponds that dry up have the most vigorous calls Calls differ from one species to another When competing with hundreds or thousands of other frogs, together they perform a chorus call where each frog calls in turn. Few individual’s calls are drowned out using this method.
Amphibians * Video Communication: Some calls are so loud, they can be heard a mile away Calls are made by passing air through the larynx in the throat The sound is amplified by one or more vocal sacs, membranes of skin under the throat or on the corner of the mouth. These vocal sacs distend during amplification of the call
Poisons Many frogs contain mild toxins that make them unpalatable to potential predators. All toads have large poison glands called parotoid glands — located behind the eyes on the top of the head. Parotoid gland Parotoid gland
Poisons The chemical makeup of toxins in frogs varies from irritants Hallucinogens: Causes change in perception, thought, emotion, & consciousness Convulsants: Causes seizures Neurotoxins: Acts specifically on nerve cells causing paralysis Vasoconstrictors: Causes constriction of blood flow
Some frogs, such as some poison dart frogs, are especially toxic. Native to Central and South America. These amphibians are often called "dart frogs" due to indigenous Indians use of their toxic secretions to poison the tips of blowdarts Although all poison dart frogs are at least somewhat toxic in the wild, levels of toxicity vary considerably from one species to the next, and from one population to another.
Amphibians Habitat: Arboreal: Living in trees Terrestrial: Living on land Aquatic: Living in fresh water None are Marine: Living in salt water
Is it a Frog or a Toad??? All toads are frogs!!! All frogs are NOT toads!!! Huhhhhh….?
Frogs or Toads Frogs are typically: Strong, long, webbed hind feet Adapted for leaping, swimming, & climbing Aquatic or semi-aquatic Smooth moist skin Tend to lay eggs in clusters
Frogs or Toads Toads are typically: Terrestrial/dryer climates Dry warty skin Stubby bodies with short hind legs Short hops or walks…does not leap
Frogs or Toads Toads Continued… Parotoid (poison) glands behind the eyes Lay eggs in long chains
Answer: Frog or Toad The use of the common names “frog” and “toad” has no taxonomic justification. ALL members of the Order Anura are frogs! Only members of the Family Bufonidae are considered “true toads”
Salamander Order Caudata Caudata: Salamanders & Newts cauda = tail ata = to bear Possess a tail throughout life Salamanders * Live in moist forest-floor litter * Have aquatic larvae Newts * Live mostly in water * Many retain caudal fin on tail Newt Caudal fin
Order Gymnophiona Gymnophiona: Caecilians Gymnos = naked ophineos = like a snake Worm-like burrowers that feed on worms & other invertebrates Skin covers their eyes & are nearly blind
Amphibians Habitat loss is the biggest threat to frogs. Small wetlands that are used as breeding areas by frogs are being filled, drained, and developed. Marshes and swamps are rapidly being replaced by parking lots, strip malls, and residential developments. Small wetlands (ditches, backwaters, temporary pools, and even mud puddles) are vitally important to local amphibians, and many people fail to realize the importance of them in the biotic community.
Amphibians The moist, permeable skin of frogs is sensitive to numerous pollutants, which is one reason why frogs are considered a good indicator species of ecosystem health. Industry, mining, agriculture, and the application of lawn and garden chemicals all release toxins into the environment. Many of these toxins can affect tadpole and adult survival.
Amphibians Other Problems facing amphibians: A wide range of fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases affect amphibians. Also, a tapeworm parasite causes severe limb malformities. Climate change & drought Slaughter for the frog leg trade Capture for the pet trade
Amphibians • Largest amphibian • Japanese Giant Salamander • 140 lbs, 6 feet long