Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians. The three groups of amphibians are frogs/toads, salamanders and caecilians (limbless underground creatures found in the tropics). The five groups of reptiles are snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodilians and the tuatara (a lizard-like, beak-headed creature found only in New Zealand). Because several of their species resemble each other, reptiles and amphibians are sometimes confused with each other. Below are some facts that can apply to either reptiles or amphibians or, in a couple of cases, both groups of animals. Can you match the fact with the category?
2. Dry scales
3. Give birth to live young
4. Go through metamorphosis (distinct larval and adult stages)
5. Have claws
6. Includes species that have gills
7. Include species that lack lungs
8. Lay eggs
9. Shows up first in the fossil record
10. Smooth, often slimy skin
Both: 1, 8
Amphibians: 4, 6, 7, 9, 10
Reptiles: 2*, 3, 5
* If you want to get really technical, there are a few caecilian species that have small scales embedded in the skin beneath their slime glands. If you knew this and put #2 in the “both” category, give yourself extra credit.