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Reptiles and Amphibians - Amphibians
See if you can get ten out of ten in this quiz.

Reptiles and Amphibians - Amphibians

One trait that unites all amphibians is that they have relatively permeable skin, and they can breathe and sometimes even drink through it. This leaky skin unfortunately leads them to be especially susceptible to toxins and other environmental stressors. The name 'amphibian', which means 'two lives' in Latin, refers to their double life both in and out of the water.

The typical amphibian life cycle starts in the water with eggs that then hatch into larvae - tadpoles, in the case of frogs - which metamorphose into adult form. The adults can live relatively independently of water for extended periods of time, and in some cases, like the spadefoot toads of the southwestern United States, they can remain underground nearly an entire year without water. But even the spadefoots need to return to water to breed and complete the life cycle.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
1.
Toads have a long association with European witchcraft as 'familiars'. What is a familiar?
Photograph courtesy of Bartosz Kosiorek
A witch's animal aiding in magic
A demon set out to destroy the world
The village storyteller
The village idiot
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Genus: Bufo
  • Species: B. bufo
  • Widespread and common throughout Europe.
  • They have warty skin, usually green to brown.
  • They mainly hunt at night and can be spotted in wet weather.
  • Emit a toxic substance called bufagin in defence.
2.
Can you identify this amphibian?
Photograph courtesy of Richard Bartz
European Tree Frog
Common Frog
American Bullfrog
Midwife Toad
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Genus: Rana
  • Species: R. temporaria
  • Are known to be able to lighten and darken their skin in order to match their surroundings.
  • They have transparent horizontal pupils.
  • The mating season is short, just a week in March after which the frogs move back to their terrestrial habitat.
3.
Can you identify this amphibian?
Photograph courtesy of Grand-Duc, Wikipedia
Marsh Frog
Edible Frog
Painted Frog
Pool Frog
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Genus: Pelophylax
  • Species: P. lessonae × P. ridibundus
  • Naturalised in Britain.
  • Males have vocal sacs on the outside of their cheeks and extra skin patches on their feet, both of which are primarily for mating.
  • The legs are a culinary delicacy in France.
4.
Can you identify this amphibian?
Photograph courtesy of Piet Spaans
Pool Frog
Painted Frog
Edible Frog
Marsh Frog
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Genus: Pelophylax
  • Species: P. lessonae
  • In Britain, it was presumed extinct in the wild at the last remaining site by 1995.
  • A single individual known from this population survived in captivity until 1999.
  • An English Nature reintroduction project is underway in Breckland.
5.
Can you identify this amphibian?
Photograph courtesy of Bogbumper
Alpine Newt
Palmate Newt
Fire Salamander
Smooth Newt
  • Order: Caudata
  • Family: Salamandridae
  • Genus: Lissotriton
  • Species: L. vulgaris
  • They have a paddle-like tail to increase the speed at which they swim.
  • Also, they have a pale throat with conspicuous spots.
  • When on land, their skin is velvety.
  • During courtship, the male vibrates his tail in front of the female in a distinctive way.
6.
The pupils of the yellow-bellied toad are what shape?
Photograph courtesy of Christian Fischer.
Club
Diamond
Heart
Spade
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Bombinatoridae
  • Genus: Bombina
  • Species: B. variegata
  • The eardrums are not visible.
  • The overside has numerous warts with raised swirls.
  • It doesn't have a vocal bladder, therefore the male's mating call is a gentle sound.
7.
Can you identify this amphibian?
Photograph courtesy of Christian Fischer.
Palmate Newt
Alpine Newt
Great Crested Newt
Italian Crested Newt
  • Order: Caudata
  • Family: Salamandridae
  • Genus: Lissotriton
  • Species: L. helveticus
  • The smallest British amphibian.
  • Has strongly webbed back feet that males develop during the breeding season.
  • The tail has an orange central line passing along its length.
8.
Can you identify this amphibian?
Photograph courtesy of Miaow Miaow
Red Salamander
Fire Salamander
Axolotl
Spotted Salamander
  • Order: Caudata
  • Family: Salamandridae
  • Genus: Salamandra
  • Species: S. salamandra
  • Can have a very long lifespan.
  • One lived for more than 50 years in a German natural history museum.
  • If grabbed by a predator, they can release heavy toxic skin secretions.
9.
Can you identify this amphibian?
Photograph courtesy of Piet Spaans
Italian Crested Newt
Alpine Newt
Great Crested Newt
Palmate Newt
  • Order: Caudata
  • Family: Salamandridae
  • Genus: Triturus
  • Species: T. cristatus
  • Native to Great Britain.
  • Mating is achieved without direct contact.
  • The female lays 2-3 eggs per day until 200-300 eggs have been laid! This can take up to 5 months.
10.
The Natterjack Toad is a main character in a children's book by Edward Eager. What is the book called?
Photograph courtesy of Piet Spaans
The Magic Garden
The Silent Garden
The Secret Garden
The Time Garden
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Genus: Epidalea
  • Species: E. calamita
  • Native to Britain, although practically confined to coastal sites.
  • Has a tendency to run instead of hopping or walking.
  • Natterjacks males have a very loud and distinctive mating call.
The Natterjack is portrayed as a magical creature who understands the laws of magic and time and assists the children on their adventures

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