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Amphibians and Reptiles

Amphibians and reptiles are fascinating animals. They are both vertebrates, meaning they have backbones. They are cold-blooded. There blood isn’t really cold, but changes temperature as the surrounding temperature changes. They tend to move slowly and even hibernate when it is cold. They will sun themselves to warm-up their body temperature.


Amphibians are very curious animals. As babies, they live in the water and breathe through gills. As adults, they move to land and use lungs. Frogs are a perfect example. They start as eggs. Tadpoles hatch and breath through gills. As they grow, they sprout and develop legs. The legs get bigger; the tail disappears; and they develop lungs. Tadpole turns to frog!




Reptiles are animals such as snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, and even crocodiles. They have dry, scaly skin, and generally lay soft-shelled eggs on land. Desert reptiles avoid the heat of the day and often hunt or forage at night. When the air temperature is cool, you find lizards and snakes sunning themselves on rocks to warm their body temperature.

These animals adapt to their environments. Their body structures and behaviors help them succeed where they live.

Build one!

Create your own reptile or amphibian!

  1. Choose your animal's environment.
  2. Choose the body structures that will help your animal survive.
  3. Feel free to choose from the samples below, or create your own.
  4. Name your animal.
  5. Write a paragraph about your animal. Describe how its body structure and behavior will help it survive in its environment.
  6. Present your animal to your friends, family or class.

Download the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 4th grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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