Exploring Amphibians and Reptiles

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Exploring and Observing Amphibians and Reptiles

Amphibians and Reptiles Exploration Icon ImageKids know: amphibians and reptiles are cool! From the call of Pacific chorus frogs as the signal of spring to the slithering garter snake that helps keep our gardens free of pests, reptiles and amphibians have very specific life histories, behaviors, and habitats.

Join biologist Geoffrey Hammerson in the Exploring Amphibians and Reptiles virtual nature walk as he outlines the fascinating frogs, native newts, and lanky lizards that exist in our wetlands, open fields, farms, and forests.

After watching the virtual nature walk, find a set of resources and activities on the page below.


Exploring Amphibians and Reptiles Virtual Nature Walk with Lead Naturalist Geoffrey Hammerson


Exploring Amphibians and Reptiles Resource Recommendations from Geoffrey Hammerson:



Recommended Exploring Amphibians and Reptiles Activities from Geoffrey Hammerson:

  • Choose a focal species to study more deeply. After you have chosen a focal species to study, begin these activities:
  • Identify your species using the resource suggestions listed above.
  • Sketch your amphibian or reptile and label it with common and scientific names (with correct use of capital letters!), size, and main identifying features. These Sketching Tips and Resources may be helpful.
  • Use the resource suggestions listed above to learn about your species and write down three things about it that you find particularly interesting.
  • Make your own field observations—take a planned field trip or use an opportunistic encounter. To do so, find a salamander, frog, lizard, or snake and, if possible, watch it for several minutes without disturbing it. Then answer the following questions:
    • Where was it? Describe the habitat and microhabitat.
    • What was it doing and what did it do in response to you? Describe the behavior(s).
    • What species was it?
    • Was it a male or female, adult or juvenile?
    • What features did you use for identification?