Amphibians and Reptiles
Although amphibians and reptiles are cold-blooded vertebrates that look similar on the surface, there are some specific differences that set them apart. Amphibians lay their eggs in water, and most change from water-breathing juveniles to air-breathing adults. Frogs, toads, salamander, newts and mudpuppies are all amphibians. Reptiles are “amniotes.” This means that most, like birds and some mammals, lay shell-encased eggs on land and start life as air-breathing juveniles. Snakes and turtles are reptiles.
In 2007, the Forest Preserve District began to update a 1987 countywide survey of reptiles and amphibians. The presence or absence of certain species will help ecologists determine the overall health and quality of the county’s ecosystems and formulate restoration efforts.