When speaking about amphibians and reptiles, there are lots of similarities between the two, along with several differences.
Reptiles include animals like snakes, lizards, goanna, crocodiles and turtles, whereas amphibians include frogs, newts, toads and salamanders.
The eggs of a reptile have shells that are hard and leathery for the protection of the young inside the egg from loss of moisture even when the eggs are laid on dry land, whereas the eggs of amphibians are soft and have an external membrane.
Reptiles leave their eggs buried in sand, leaves and twigs or in insulated nests, while the amphibians attach their eggs to the stems of aquatic plants.
The hatchlings of reptiles look like the miniature version of the adults, but the amphibian babies do not look like the adults, and are born as aquatic larva or tadpoles. Amphibians usually undergo a metamorphosis prior to becoming adults.
If you touch the reptiles, you will find that the skin is scaly and dry, whereas the amphibians’ skin feels sticky, smooth and moist. Reptiles breathe through their lungs and young amphibians breathe through gills until they develop lungs to breathe through. Amphibians are known to have no claws or nails, whereas you can find reptiles with claws. Both amphibians and reptiles can bite. Amphibians come with webbed feet, which is absent among the reptiles.
Amphibians spend the greater part of their lives in water. However, this does not hold true for reptiles. Chytrid fungus is a danger for most of the amphibians all over the world, but reptiles are not affected with this kind of a fungus. Usually it is found that the reptiles have a bigger size than the amphibians. The similarities and differences among reptiles and amphibians make for an interesting subject.
Are Turtles Reptiles?
Turtles are actually reptiles, though they are often sometimes considered to be amphibians. These creatures are reptiles of the order Testudines, and have bony or cartilaginous shells, which act as a shield and are developed from their ribs.
Turtles lay eggs, do not like the open and do not live on land normally. These features speak of their reptile characteristics. These reptiles are found in every continent barring Antarctica. Reptiles were the first ones to hover on land among all the vertebrates in the world.
It is usual for reptiles to lay eggs in dry areas near water bodies, such as the sea beach. This is something that is commonly seen among tortoises and turtles.
Amphibians always need the water to lay eggs, though they are closely related to the reptiles. The eggs that are laid by turtles on sea beaches are covered with sand, leaves and twigs. The eggs take around 60 to 120 days for hatching. The hatchlings immediately start to live their own lives and feed on worms and insects.
Turtles are an exception
Being an exception among the reptiles, the turtle has the ability to survive on both water and land. Some turtles can also live in the deserts. Similar to the other reptiles, the turtles also are ectotherms. This means that they have the ability to change their body temperature according to the temperature outside and are referred to as the cold-blooded animals.
You will find that the leatherback sea turtle has a higher body temperature than the surrounding water when compared to the other turtles. This is due to their high metabolic rates. Like the other reptiles, turtles breathe in air and the largest of them are aquatic beings. The turtles can remain underwater for a long time, but need to come to the surface for breathing.