What's the difference between a lizard and a salamander?

Lizards and salamanders may look alike, but they are very different from one another. Lizards are reptiles, and salamanders are amphibians. Both are cold-blooded animals that use the environment to help regulate their body temperature. And both animals are vertebrates, which means they have a backbone. An amphibian needs moist conditions in which to live, has smooth and moist skin without scales, and stumpy toes. Salamanders can be found under leaves in the forest, or under rocks in a stream. Lizards have dry and scaly skin, have longer toes that can be used for climbing, and live in a dry, hot environment. They can go long periods of time without water. Salamanders lay eggs without shells, and must lay them in a moist environment. Many salamander eggs need to be laid completely underwater, because when the larvae hatch they soon develop gills and are dependent on water. These aquatic salamanders go through metamorphosis—from tadpole to adult—just as frogs do. Lizard eggs have shells and their nests are typically in the sand. Upon hatching, young lizards are small versions of their parents and do not change or morph.


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