Week 5: Herpetology

Herpetology is a branch of zoology focused on the study of amphibians and reptiles.

Amphibians include many animals like toads and frogs, salamanders, newts, and caecilians. They usually have smooth, slimy skin and lay their eggs in or near water. Some even have permeable skin that they breathe through!

Reptiles are typically more scaly than amphibians, are better adapted for life on land, and are the closest relatives to birds! They include animals like turtles, snakes, lizards, and crocodilians.

This week, learn all about the similarities and differences between these two amazing groups of animals through getting up close to some of our favorite amphibians and reptiles at The Wild Center.


To help you get started:

Go herping with Shannon and search for spotted salamanders.

Explore the Wild Center’s live collection of amphibians with Nicole.

Check out minute 1:50 to learn about the frog lifecycle, and minute 4:30 to see a helpful diagram. Get up close with an American toad at minute 5:22, then test your skills at identifying frog calls at minute 10:15. Learn more about grey tree frogs at minute 12:45, and more about spring peepers at minute 19:25.

Talk turtles with Nick.

Take a look at the turtles in The Wild Center’s bog exhibit at minute 1:00. Check out minute 10:45 to learn about turtle shells.

Meet Fluffy and Chelsie!

Then go to minute 5:15 to learn how snakes like Fluffy hunt and what they eat. Go to minute 9:45 to learn what ectothermy means. Check out minute 15:45 to hear how snake scales are protective.