You might see them every day and not give much thought to the amphibians that live here in Central Florida. Or, you could be an outdoor enthusiast, have a child who is a nature lover, or another scenario specific to you.
Amphibians are cold-blooded vertebrate animals that can live both in water and on land. Scientists say amphibians are a threatened nature class, since they’re highly-susceptible to environmental changes and predators. Frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and more are all considered amphibians.
Whatever your specific situation, it’s nice to know that there are opportunities to get up close and personal with native Florida wildlife and vegetation. And you can do so from the safety and comfort of your seat on a relaxing water tour. Read on to learn more about amphibians both large and small.
Naturalists recognize three main classes of amphibians: frogs and toads, salamanders and newts, and caecilians (worm-like, limbless vertebrates with notoriously-poor eyesight). There are currently more than 6,000 known species of frogs and toads in the world.
Most amphibians begin life looking like fish. Then, they go through a metamorphosis — in some cases shedding tails, losing gills, and even growing legs and primitive lungs. Even though amphibians can survive on land for a time, living near water is essential to long-term prosperity.
When you book a relaxing water cruise on board The Manatee, there’s a great chance that you’ll see a fair amount of amphibians, along with sea mammals such as dolphins and manatees, and plenty of other interesting creatures.
Myths and Misconceptions
Some people think that because amphibians live part-time in water, that their skin is like rubber. In fact, scientists say it’s more like a wet suit, in that the skin is permeable. This means amphibians must keep their skin moist, or else they will dry up and die.
Not all amphibians are tiny. In fact, the largest is the size of a full-grown human! The Chinese giant salamander can grow to about six feet and weigh up to 110 pounds or more. By contrast, the smallest amphibian (the Paedophryne amanuensis frog) is smaller than a U.S. dime.
As mentioned, many amphibians are endangered. However, scientists say these animals are essential to maintaining the food chain. Others attest that any negative changes in amphibians could indicate bigger problems in the ecosystem.
For that reason and others, they say it’s important to take steps to conserve these and all natural resources. One way to do that is to get the whole family on board with environmental protection. From the comfort and safety of your seat on board The Manatee, you’ll witness the majesty of Central Florida nature. From there, you can initiate or participate in conservation efforts in your home locale.
In fact, your family-friendly water tour will get you a front-row seat to some of the most captivating native animals and plants in Central Florida. Along with amphibians, that also includes dolphins, manatees, birds, and more. In addition, you’ll see sights such as artistic waterfront homes, the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, and similar. Plus, with three cruises to choose from, you can easily come back again and again for a unique experience every time.
Our craft features a spacious sun deck and clean, accessible restroom. Snacks and beverages are also available to enjoy on board. Browse our website to get a sneak-peek at what you might see during your cruise with The Manatee. Then, contact us today to book a memory that you and your loved ones will cherish for years to come.