Reptiles are essentially amphibians that are better adapted to life on land. Worldwide, there are ~7000 species in 4 orders. The arrangement of legs supports the reptiles’ body weight more effectively than amphibians, allowing them to have bigger bodies and to run. The wet skin that is characteristic of amphibians has been covered by dry scales and the eggs are encased in a shell to minimize water loss. In contrast with amphibians, reptiles breath solely with lungs rather than diffusion of oxygen through the skin. The representatives of this group at Stonehill are the snakes and turtles.

Snapping turtle
Painted turtle

Amphibians are direct descendants of fishes.  They have damp skin like fish and most lay eggs lacking shells in water.  Unlike fish, amphibians lack scales and have a more complex circulatory system.  Most are terrestrial at some point in the life cycle. There are three amphibian orders divided on the basis of the presence of a tail (369 species of salamanders and newts), absence of a tail (3680 species of frogs and toads), and absence of legs (168 species of tropical, worm-like caecilians). All species posses legs (except caecilians), cutaneous respiration, lungs, pulmonary veins, and a partially divided heart. Cutaneous respiration is the primary means of respiration even though lungs are present and involves the diffusion of oxygen across the skin; this is the reason for the characteristic moist skin and small size. Pulmonary veins and partially divided heart are amphibian characteristics that fish do not have. Frogs (smooth moist skin) live in or near water and toads (bumpy skin) are well adapted to dry environments. Both frogs and toads usually return to water to lay their eggs where metamorphosis from tadpole to adult occurs. Salamanders can live and lay eggs in water or in moist places like under rocks, but unlike frogs and toads, salamanders are hatched looking like small adults (rather than undergoing metamorphosis). There are about 10 species of amphibians on Stonehill's campus.

Frogs and Toads
Spring Peeper
Red Backed Salamander
Wood frog
Red wood frog
Wood frog

Common Gray Tree Frog Common Gray Tree Frog Common Gray Tree Frog

American toad