The Difference Between Reptiles and Amphibians

Which animal has dry, scaly skin, usually with bony plates? If you know the difference between reptiles and amphibians, you’d answer reptile.

Read on to learn more about the difference between these two animals.


  • Have dry skin with scales and bony plates.
  • Are cold-blooded and depend on the sun to maintain their body temperatures.
  • Some reptiles lay eggs, while others deliver live young.
  • Vary greatly in size, from 2-inch lizards to 20-foot pythons.
  • Are most often in the tropics, although some species live in forests & deserts.
  • Include alligators, crocodiles, lizards, snakes and turtles.


  • Have soft, smooth and scale-less skin, possibly with warts.
  • Mostly hatch from eggs laid in water or in moist ground.
  • Live in moist habitats near water.
  • Are also cold-blooded and get heat from outside sources like the sun.
  • Are generally smaller and grow up to 6 inches, with a few exceptions.
  • Include frogs, toads, salamanders and newts.

Did you know?

  • Amphibians became the first vertebrates to live on land.
  • Frogs can absorb oxygen through their skin.
  • Boa, python and viper snakes have infrared heat receptors that can sense nearby animals by temperature shifts as little as 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit.