About Reptiles and Amphibians in Missouri
Missouri's fascinating herptiles, include 43 amphibians and 75 species and subspecies of reptiles. Amphibians, which include salamanders, newts, toads, and frogs, are vertebrate animals (in the phylum Chordata) that spend at least part of their life cycle in water. They are ectothermal (or cold-blooded), which means that they do not produce their own body heat like birds, people or other mammals. Like amphibians, reptiles are vertebrates (in the phylum Chordata) and most are ectothermal. Reptiles evolved from salamander-like creatures about 315 million years ago. Unlike amphibians, reptiles do not have to live part of their life in water.