Lizards are reptiles. This classification of creatures arose over 300,000,000 years ago having evolved from a salamander-like ancestor. They represent a completion of the transition from life in water to a fully terrestrial lifestyle although some reptiles have returned to water. Waterproof skin and a water resistant egg means that these creatures can live in places and in ways that amphibians are unable to. There are over 8,700 currently recognized species of reptiles, with a large majority actually belonging to the group Squamata which lizards are included in along with snakes and worm like amphisbaenians.
These reptiles range in size from tiny geckos to giant komodo dragons. Reptiles also exhibit some remarkable adaptations. The tails of lizards serve many different purposes. The fat Gila monster of the Sonoran desert in North America uses its plump tail to store energy in the form of fat. Whereas African chameleons use their tail as a fifth limb to wrap around branches. The green iguana has been known to use its tail as a weapon to whip and protect itself from predators. Many lizards have also been known to shed their tail in order to escape from a predator.
There are quite a few differences between reptiles and amphibians. For instance the word reptiles means to creep. These creatures are known to creep both on land and in water. However they do not require water to keep their skin from drying out as amphibians do. This group of animals are equipped with scales or modified scales, are known to breathe air through their lungs and reproduce by laying eggs. Most reptiles spend most of their time on land and lay their amniotic eggs there or keep them inside of their body until they are ready to hatch. These amniotic eggs are protected with a hard, leathery covering.
The word amphibian means to live a double life, which is exactly what amphibians do. Starting off residing in the water as creatures who have gills and later develop lungs as they age, these creatures are cold blooded vertebrates that were the first animals to leave the sea and venture onto land. They breathe water through their gills until they develop their lungs later on in life whereas reptiles are born resembling miniature adult reptiles that have lungs from the get go. Amphibians are usually required to stay near water to prevent their smooth skin from drying out. Differing from reptiles such as the lizard, these creatures have a soft gel that surrounds the eggs they lay and can usually be found in water or around damp places. Lots of amphibian’s defense against predators includes a type of toxic skin that releases secretions, and many amphibians also bite. These creatures do not have claws or nails as reptiles such as the lizard do.