Difference Between Amphibians and Reptiles (With Table)

Organisms, especially animals, are classified into different categories based on their characteristics and the environment where they can survive or be founded. They can be categorized as herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, etc. Amphibians and reptiles are among these types. Both of them are similar in several terms, but that does not make the same. There are many differences among both of these species. For a person interested or associated with biology or science in general, to understand their difference is an important thing. Below is detailed information along with their difference to help you understand them.

Amphibians vs Reptiles

The difference between Amphibians and Reptiles is in their habitat. Amphibians can survive on land as well as under the water, but most of the reptiles can also survive on land. Amphibians undergo the larva stage in the water, while reptiles undergo this stage on land. Both of them are different in reproduction type, amphibians are oviparous, and reptiles are viviparous. Amphibians perform the process of fertilization externally whereas reptile performs this process internally. Both of the organisms have different types of bodies; amphibians are highly porous with the smoothest body, while reptiles have dry skin and hard bodies. They also differ in terms of, ability to differentiate color, organs through they breathe, body parts help in swimming, etc.

Amphibians are organisms that can easily survive on both lands and in water. A most common example of amphibians is frogs and tadpoles. Both of them can easily breathe under the water and land. They are oviparous and perform fertilization externally. They can breathe through gills and lungs both. Their body is slimy and smooth which make it difficult to catch them. Their body is highly porous.

Reptiles are similar to amphibians as they require heat from external factors to keep their body warm. An example of a reptile is a snake that can be seen easily on land. They can survive on land (there are expected reptiles that can also survive under the water). They are viviparous. The skin is generally hard and dry and carries out the fertilization process internally, unlike amphibians.

Comparison Table Between Amphibians and Reptiles

Parameters of ComparisonAmphibiansReptiles
Live onLand and waterLand
Reproduction typeOviparousViviparous
SkinSmooth and porousDry and hard
ExampleToads, newts, frogs, etc.Snakes, turtle, lizard, etc.

What are Amphibians?

They come from a category of animals called amphibians. Flowing is some of the characteristics that can be found in amphibians:

  • They are capable of surviving both on land and underwater.
  • They can be easily found in warm and moist climatic conditions.
  • Some amphibians have a tail. Some might not have it.
  • Their body is classified in head and trunk.
  • They do not have scales on their body but have a smooth texture.
  • They have pair of limbs.
  • Except for one or two animal fertilization processes in external in these animals.

These animals can survive in most climatic conditions. They can be easily found in areas such as meadows, rivers, lakes, forests, etc., but they can also be seen on farmlands.

As we are aware many animals are going extinct and becoming endangered as the pollution level in the environment is increasing at high speed, and therefore, not many animals can survive in such conditions. A study has shown that more than 160 species of amphibians are extinct, and more are declining as well. They have known to be surviving more than 300 million, and still, they are becoming extinct.

What are Reptiles?

Reptiles have more than 10000 species that can be found anywhere on earth but not in Antarctica. They are among the longest-lived species; some of them can even live for more than 100 years. They appeared almost 315 million years ago, and this is proved as fossils were found. Their skin is mostly dry and cool, they have tails, but they can detach it from their body in case of danger. For example, when a predator is catching them and get hold of their tail, they can easily detach it from their body to run for their life.

The reproduction process by these organisms is influenced by the temperature of the climate too. Most of them lay their eggs and leave their nests, but there are exceptions to this. And young reptiles can easily walk or swim after few hours of giving birth. They are considered cold-blooded due to their weak metabolism and heat-seeking behavior. Their body is not smooth but has scales on them. All of the species of reptiles have ears, but except snakes that do not have ears (this fact is not known by many, and people think snakes have ears).

Main Differences Between Amphibians and Reptiles

  1. Both of the organisms undergo the larva stage in their life cycle, but the difference is where they spent this stage of their life, amphibians spent the larva stage in water and later adult life on land while reptiles spend their larva stage on land.
  2. They need oxygen; the organ used for breathing can be different in both of them. Amphibians can breathe through lungs and gill both while reptiles can only breathe through their lungs.
  3. Both of them have three-chambered hearts, but the difference is that in reptiles, the ventricle is separated, and in amphibians, they are not.
  4. In terms of the ability to differentiate between colors, amphibians have a disadvantage as they cannot differentiate among different colors, whereas reptiles can differentiate between different colors.
  5. They can swim in water with the help of different parts of their body, amphibians have webbed feet while reptile has scale in their body which helps them running and swimming under the water.
  6. They also differ in terms of shells of the eggs laid by them, amphibians lay eggs in water, and they don’t have an outer shell, while reptiles lay eggs that have an outer shell to protect them; they lay eggs underground or on land.
  7. The first-ever amphibians discovered were Ichthyostega and Elginerpeton, and the first discovered reptile was Hylonomus.


Thus, there should not be any confusion between amphibians and reptiles. Categorizing and differentiating between humans is not completely possible, at least on the basic physical characteristic, as most humans have the same physical features. But in the case of animals differentiating animals on the basis of physical features is easier. It is also considered as the fundamental difference among them.

Some animals tend to change their physical appearance over time due to the presence of certain environmental factors and climatic changes. Environment change is also one of the reasons why many animals and birds are becoming endangered and extinct with time, as they are not able to survive the climatic conditions.


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=2a49CQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP2&dq=amphibians+AND+reptiles&ots=OzNOkhzHiW&sig=cOYz9ihZ9pZqvnJJw2sVR4LU2EY
  2. http://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/44081
  3. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1564148
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