Amphibians are vertebrates that is four-limbed and ectothermic of the class Amphibia. All living amphibians belong to the group Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most species living within terrestrial, fossorial, arboreal or freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Thus amphibians typically start out as larvae living in water, but some species have developed behavioural adaptations to bypass this. The young generally undergo metamorphosis from larva with gills to an adult air-breathing form with lungs. Amphibians use their skin as a secondary respiratory surface and some small terrestrial salamanders and frogs lack lungs and rely entirely on their skin. They are superficially similar to reptiles like lizards but, along with mammals and birds, reptiles are amniotes and do not require water bodies in which to breed.

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When rare California toads get thirsty for love, this tiny college helps set the mood — The endangered black toad has the smallest range of any amphibian in North America: a mere 400 acres on the remote Deep Springs College campus nestled between the Inyo and White mountain ranges in Inyo County.