Main Difference – Salamander vs Lizard
Salamander and lizard are two types of ectothermic vertebrates. Both salamander and lizard are tetrapods with a tail. Salamander belongs to the class Amphibia while lizard belongs to the class Reptilia. The main difference between salamander and lizard is that salamander has a moist, non-scaly skin whereas lizard has a rough, scaly skin. Salamanders have short legs but, lizards have longer legs. Each leg of a salamander has four fingers with five toes. Lizards have five fingers and five toes on each leg. Both salamanders and lizards are popular as pets with teenagers.
Key Areas Covered
– Definition, Facts, Characteristics
– Definition, Facts, Characteristics
3. What are the Similarities Between Salamander and Lizard
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Salamander and Lizard
– Comparison of Key Differences
Key Terms: Amphibians, Carnivores, Ectothermic, Eggs, Lizard, Reptiles, Salamander, Vertebrates
Salamander – Facts and Characteristics
Salamanders are tailed amphibians, with moist and scaleless skin. Salamanders belong to the order Caudata under the class Amphibia. Caudata consists of nine families with about 600 species. The size of salamanders may vary from 6 inches to 6 feet (Japanese giant salamander). Salamanders are cold-blooded animals that depend on external sources to maintain the body temperature. They have four, short legs with four fingers and five toes. Egg, larva, and adult are the distinct stages of the salamander’s life cycle. The respiration of larva occurs through gills. The larva lives in water. Most adult salamanders breathe through lungs. Salamanders are carnivores that eat animal tissue as food. Typically, salamanders are active at night. They prefer slowly-moving prey such as snails, slugs, worms, crustaceans, insects, and fish. The bright colored pattern of salamanders avoids predation. They also secrete bad-tasting or poisonous liquids by their glands on the skin. Some shed their tail during an attack by a predator. A fire salamander is shown in figure 1.
The habitat of salamanders depends on the species. Newts-like salamanders have a dry, bumpy skin and live on the land. But, sirens-like salamanders spend most of their time in the water. They have both lungs as well as gills.
Lizard – Facts and Characteristics
Lizard refers to a reptile with a long tail, four legs, and rough, scaly skin. Lizards belong to the order Squamata under the class Reptilia. Over 6,000 species of lizards can be identified all over the world. The largest lizard is Komodo monitor (10 feet long) while the smallest is the tiny gecko. Lizards are tetrapods with clawed feet. Their tail is long. Lizards have outside ear openings. One of the characteristic features of lizards is the presence of movable eyelids. The vision of the lizards is well-developed as they camouflage to blend in with its surroundings. Most lizards are carnivores and eat insects. A few lizards eat plants. Most lizards can climb trees.
Lizards are also cold-blooded animals. Thus, they are active in the summer and sleep in the winter. Lizards lay white color, leathery eggs.
Similarities Between Salamander and Lizard
- Both Salamander and lizard are vertebrates.
- Both salamander and lizard are ectothermic (cold-blooded animals).
- Both salamander and lizard have four legs with fingers.
- Both salamander and lizard have a tail.
- Both salamander and lizard are carnivores.
- Both salamander and lizard lay eggs.
Difference Between Salamander and Lizard
Salamander: Salamander refers to a tailed amphibian, with moist and scaleless skin.
Lizard: Lizard refers to a reptile with a long tail, four legs, and rough, scaly skin.
Salamander: Salamander belongs to the class Amphibia.
Lizard: Lizard belongs to the class Reptilia.
Salamander: Salamander is small.
Lizard: Lizard is large in size when compared to the salamander.
Length of the Limbs
Salamander: Salamander has short legs.
Lizard: Lizard has longer legs.
Type of Locomotion
Salamander: Salamanders tend to creep.
Lizard: Lizards can scuttle at quite a pace.
Number of Fingers and Toes
Salamander: Salamander has four fingers with five toes.
Lizard: Lizard has five fingers and five toes on each leg.
Salamander: Salamander has a moist, non-scaly skin.
Lizard: Lizard has a rough, scaly skin.
Claws and Ear Openings
Salamander: Salamander lacks both claws and ear openings.
Lizard: Lizard has both claws and ear openings.
Salamander: Salamanders live partly in both water and shady land.
Lizard: Lizards are adapted to live in the terrestrial environments.
Salamander: Salamanders have ten pairs of cranial nerves.
Lizard: Lizards have twelve pairs of cranial nerves.
Salamander: The major nitrogenous waste product in salamanders is ammonia.
Lizard: The major nitrogenous waste product in lizard is uric acid.
Mode of Reproduction
Salamander: Oviviparity is the mode of reproduction of salamanders.
Lizard: Oviparity is the mode of reproduction of lizards.
Salamander: Salamander exhibits internal fertilization.
Lizard: Lizard exhibits external fertilization.
Salamander: The eggs of salamander are covered with a transparent gelatinous covering.
Lizard: Reptiles have amniotic eggs, which are hard or leathery.
Salamander: Salamanders are born in water or mushy lands with gills.
Lizard: Lizards are born on the land.
Salamander: Salamanders undergo incomplete metamorphosis as they have a larval stage.
Lizard: Lizards do not undergo metamorphosis.
Salamander: The larva of the salamanders has gills. However, adults breathe through lungs.
Lizard: Lizards breathe through lungs.
Salamander: The secretions of the glands in the skin protect salamander from enemies.
Lizard: Lizards avoid enemies by biting, sharp spines or by shedding tails.
Both salamander and lizard are tetrapods. Both of them are cold-blooded, vertebrate animals. Both salamander and lizard are similar in appearance. But, salamanders are amphibians with a moist and non-scaly skin. Lizards are reptiles with rough, scaly skins. Salamanders live in damp environments while lizards are adapted to live in terrestrial environments. The main difference between salamander and lizard is the phylogenetic adaptations of both types of animals.