Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 5

amphibian - History of amphibians, Classification, Reproduction

gills skin usually breathe

A vertebrate animal of class Amphibia (c.4000 species), exhibiting a wide range of characters and lifestyles; usually four legs and glandular skin, lacking scales or other outgrowths; larvae usually live in water and breathe through feathery external gills; undergo a metamorphosis during development, when the gills shrink and disappear; adults breathe using lungs (and partly through the skin); three major groups: salamanders and newts (Order: Urodela or Caudata), frogs and toads (Order: Anura or Salientia), and the legless caecilians (Order: Gymnophiona or Apoda).

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