The Everglades are known for its indigenous animals such as alligators, Florida panthers, and more recently, Burmese pythons, but you don’t want to forget about the little guys like toads, frogs and salamanders, especially when you’re out on an airboat ride. There are several species of amphibians that live in the Everglades, and they often are confused for the reptiles or overlooked for the larger animals.
The word amphibian is derived from the Greek words amphis and bios, which mean, when put together, double life. The double life derivation makes plenty of sense when you consider that amphibians spend about half their lives in the water when they are growing up (such as tadpoles), and half of their lives on land, when they’re adults.
Amphibian skin is mostly smooth and moist, and they do not have thick, scaly skin that many reptiles possess. Feathers, scales, and hair are not traits of an amphibian, so these clues could allow you to identify an amphibian in the wild. An amphibian’s skin can actually easily dry out because it does not contain the protective covering that reptiles usually have. A really cool fact about amphibians is they can actually breathe through their own skin because it’s exposed, but don’t be fooled; they also breathe through their lungs.
Amphibians mostly live in moist, humid and wet environments, which explains why so many reside in the Everglades. Even though amphibians reside on land when they grow to be adults, many remain near sources of water, especially when they lay eggs or enter into a stage of reproduction. Their eggs do not have a protective shell or covering, unlike reptiles and birds. The eggs can easily dry out on land, so they often need to be near bodies of water.
If you’re interested in learning more about the animals of the Everglades, contact the experts at Wild Florida, and sign up for an airboat ride. You can experience the many species of the Everglades in their natural, undeveloped homes. Seeing an animal in the wild can be unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Sign up for an airboat ride on our website today!