font settings

Font Size: Large | Normal | Small
Font Face: Verdana | Geneva | Georgia

Amphibia

(Class)

Overview

[ Back to top ]
A Class in the Kingdom Animalia.

Photos

[ Back to top ]

Taxonomy

[ Back to top ]

The Class Amphibia is further organized into finer groupings including:

Orders

[ Back to top ]

Aistopoda

[more]

Allocaudata

[more]

Anthracosauria

Anthracosauria is an order of extinct reptile-like amphibians that flourished during the Carboniferous and early Permian periods, although precisely which species are included depends on one's definition of the taxon. [more]

Anura

Frogs are amphibians in the order Anura (meaning "tailless", from Greek an-, without + oura, tail), formerly referred to as Salientia (Latin salere (salio), "to jump"). Most frogs are characterized by a short body, webbed digits (fingers or toes), protruding eyes, bifid tongue and the absence of a tail. Frogs are widely known as exceptional jumpers, and many of the anatomical characteristics of frogs, particularly their long, powerful legs, are adaptations to improve jumping performance. Due to their permeable skin, frogs are often semi-aquatic or inhabit humid areas, but move easily on land. They typically lay their eggs in puddles, ponds or lakes, and their larvae, called tadpoles, have gills and tails to develop in water. Adult frogs follow a carnivorous diet, mostly of arthropods, annelids and gastropods. Frogs are most noticeable by their call, which can be widely heard during the night or day, mainly in their mating season. [more]

Caudata

Salamander is a common name of approximately 550 extant species of amphibians. They are typically characterized by a superficially lizard-like appearance, with their slender bodies, short noses, and long tails. All known fossils and extinct species fall under the order Caudata, while sometimes the extant species are grouped together as the Urodela. Most salamanders have four toes on their front legs and five on their rear legs. Their moist skin usually makes them reliant on habitats in or near water, or under some protection (e.g., moist ground), often in a wetland. Some salamander species are fully aquatic throughout life, some take to the water intermittently, and some are entirely terrestrial as adults. Unique among vertebrates, they are capable of regenerating lost limbs, as well as other body parts. [more]

Gymnophiona

The caecilians are an order (Gymnophiona) of amphibians that superficially resemble earthworms or snakes. They mostly live hidden in the ground, making them the least familiar order of amphibians. All extant caecilians and their closest fossil relatives are grouped as the clade Apoda. They are mostly distributed in the tropics of South and Central America, Africa, and South Asia. The diet of caecilians is not well known. [more]

Labyrinthodontia

Labyrinthodontia (Greek, "maze-toothed") is an older term for any member of the extinct subclass of amphibians, which constituted some of the dominant animals of Late Paleozoic and Early Mesozoic times (about 390 to 210 million years ago). The group is ancestral to all extant landliving vertebrates, and as such constitutes an evolutionary grade (a paraphyletic group) rather than a clade. The name describes the pattern of infolding of the dentin and enamel of the teeth, which are often the only part of the creatures that fossilize. They are also distinguished by a heavily armoured skull roof (hence the older name "Stegocephalia"), and complex vertebrae, the structure of which is useful in older classifications of the group. [more]

Microsauria

Microsauria ("small lizards") is an extinct order of lepospondyl amphibians from the late Carboniferous and early Permian periods. It is the most diverse and species-rich group of lepospondyls. Recently, Microsauria has been considered paraphyletic, as several other non-microsaur lepospondyl groups such as Lysorophia seem to be nested in it. Microsauria is now commonly used as a collective term for the grade of lepospondyls that were originally classified as members of Microsauria. [more]

Proanura

[more]

Seymouriamorpha

Seymouriamorpha were a small but widespread group of reptiliomorphs. Many seymouriamorphs were terrestrial or semi-aquatic. However, aquatic larvae bearing external gills and grooves from the lateral line system has been found, making them unquestionably amphibians. The adults were terrestrial. They ranged from lizard-sized creatures (30 centimeters) to crocodile-sized 150 centimeter long animals. They were reptile-like. Because seymouriamorphs are reptiliomorphs, they were the distant relatives of amniotes, or the relatives of the amniotes's ancestor. Seymouriamorphs form into three main groups, , Discosauriscidae, and Seymouriidae, a group that includes the best known genus, Seymouria. The last seymouriamorph became extinct by the end of Permian. [more]

Temnospondyli

Temnospondyli (from Greek t???e?? (temnein, "to cut") and sp??d???? (spondylos, "vertebra")) is a diverse order of small to giant tetrapods?often considered primitive amphibians?that flourished worldwide during the Carboniferous, Permian, and Triassic periods. A few species continued into the Cretaceous. Fossils have been found on every continent. During approximately 210 million years of evolutionary history they adapted to a wide range of habitats including fresh water, terrestrial, and even coastal marine environments. Their life history is well understood with fossils known from the larval stage, metamorphosis, and maturity. Most temnospondyls were semiaquatic, although some were almost fully terrestrial, returning to the water only to breed. These temnospondyls were some of the first vertebrates fully adapted to life on land. Although temnospondyls are considered amphibians, many had characteristics such as scales, claws, and armor-like bony plates that distinguish them from modern amphibians. [more]

Urodela

Salamander is a common name of approximately 550 extant species of amphibians. They are typically characterized by a superficially lizard-like appearance, with their slender bodies, short noses, and long tails. All known fossils and extinct species fall under the order Caudata, while sometimes the extant species are grouped together as the Urodela. Most salamanders have four toes on their front legs and five on their rear legs. Their moist skin usually makes them reliant on habitats in or near water, or under some protection (e.g., moist ground), often in a wetland. Some salamander species are fully aquatic throughout life, some take to the water intermittently, and some are entirely terrestrial as adults. Unique among vertebrates, they are capable of regenerating lost limbs, as well as other body parts. [more]

At least 18 species and subspecies belong to the Order Urodela.

More info about the Order Urodela may be found here.

Sources

[ Back to top ]
Last Revised: October 03, 2013
2013/10/03 15:58:39