Q:

Are turtles amphibians?

A:

Turtles are not classified as amphibians. Turtles are classified as reptiles like tortoises, snakes, lizards and alligators. A few common amphibians include frogs, newts, toads and salamanders.

Turtles have scaly, impermeable skin and breathe with lungs their entire lives. Those characteristics lead to their classification as reptiles. Amphibians do not have scales; they have permeable skin, and breathe with gills when they are young prior to metamorphosis. Turtles do not have those traits. Turtles have many traits that both the reptile and amphibian animal classes share, however. These include having a backbone and being mostly cold-blooded. Like all amphibians and some reptiles, turtles spend some of their time on the land and some time in water.

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