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Salamander vs. Lizard: What’s the Difference?

Salamander vs. Lizard: What’s the Difference?

In the animal kingdom, many fascinating creatures inhabit our planet. Today, we will be looking at two of the most popular: salamanders and lizards. Both of these animals have unique features that set them apart from one another, but which one is better? In this article, we will explore the differences between salamanders and lizards and determine who comes out on top!

The Main Differences Between Salamander vs. Lizard

The first major difference between salamanders and lizards is their appearance. Salamanders are typically larger than most lizards, with some species growing up to two feet in length. They have smooth, slimy skin that is usually covered in small bumps or scales. Lizards, on the other hand, tend to be smaller than salamanders and can range from just a few inches to over three feet in size. They have dry scales on their skin and a longer tail than salamanders.

Another key difference between these animals is their habitats. For example, salamanders live exclusively in wet environments such as streams, ponds and damp areas of woodlands where they can remain moist. Instead, lizards prefer to live in dry habitats like deserts and rocky areas.

Salamanders also differ from lizards in their diet. While both animals are omnivores, salamanders tend to prefer eating insects and worms while lizards feed on mostly plants, fruits, and small animals like mice or spiders. Lastly, salamanders can regenerate lost limbs whereas lizards cannot. [1]

The Main Differences

The 6 Best Books About Frogs for Facts, Inspiration, and Coloring!

Now that we’ve explored the differences between salamanders and lizards, let’s take a look at some of the best books about these creatures. Whether you are looking for facts, inspiration or just a fun activity to do with your kids, these books have something for everyone!

  1. The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer: This beautiful picture book tells the story of Brian and his magical friendship with an imaginary salamander. Filled with vibrant illustrations and simple text, this is a perfect read-aloud for young readers. [2]
  2. Frogs Are Amazing by Irene Kelly: This nonfiction book is filled with fascinating facts about frogs that both kids and adults will enjoy learning.
  3. The Complete Guide to Lizards by Matt Jeppson: This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about lizards, from how they live to how to care for them as pets.
  4. The Frogs and Toads Coloring Book by Susan Detwiler: This fun coloring book is perfect for all ages and features detailed drawings of frogs and toads that can be colored in with markers, crayons or pencils.
  5. Reptiles & Amphibians of the World by Jonathan Crowe: Through stunning photographs and captivating text, this book introduces readers to a variety of fascinating amphibians from around the world.
  6. The Salamander’s Smile by Marissa Moss: A heartwarming story about a young girl and her special bond with a salamander.

So, which animal is the ultimate champion? After looking at the differences between salamanders and lizards, it’s clear that they both have unique features that make them amazing creatures in their own right. In the end, you can’t go wrong with either one!

Salamander vs Lizard: Species

Now that we’ve compared salamanders and lizards, let’s take a closer look at the various species of these animals.

Salamanders: There are more than 500 species of salamanders found around the world. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, from bright reds to dark greens. Some salamander species spend their entire lives in water while others live primarily on land.

Lizards: There are over 4,000 known species of lizards. They can be found on all continents except Antarctica and come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Lizards typically prefer dry habitats such as deserts or rocky areas but some are also semi-aquatic or arboreal.

Salamander vs Lizard: Habitat

When it comes to the habitat and diet of salamanders vs lizards, you’ll find that there are some similarities but also some distinct differences. While both types of reptiles can be found in a variety of habitats, salamanders prefer moist environments, such as ponds or streams. They tend to feed on insects, worms, and other small invertebrates. Lizards, on the other hand, prefer drier climates such as deserts or grasslands. They typically eat a wider variety of prey including insects, rodents, and even smaller lizards. [3]

Salamander vs Lizard: Toes and Ears

Now let’s take a look at the differences between salamanders and lizards when it comes to toes and ears. Salamanders have four toes on each front foot and five on each hind foot, whereas most lizards have five toes on both the front and back feet.

In terms of ears, both salamanders and lizards can hear but they do so in different ways. Salamanders are sensitive to vibrations in the ground, while lizards rely mostly on their visible hearing organs located near the eyes.

Salamander vs Lizard: Lifespan

Finally, let’s compare the average lifespans of salamanders and lizards. Most salamanders live 1-3 years in the wild while some species can reach up to 6-8 years in captivity. Lizards tend to live much longer than their amphibian counterparts, with some species living up to 30 years or more!

Salamander vs Lizard: Lifespan

Salamander vs Lizard: Reproduction

One final difference between salamanders and lizards is how they reproduce. Salamanders lay eggs in water while lizards lay eggs on land. The larvae of both types of reptiles undergo dramatic changes as they grow and mature into adulthood.


Is it a salamander or a lizard?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a salamander and a lizard just by looking at them. However, there are some key features you can use to differentiate between the two. Salamanders typically have four toes on their front feet and five on their hind feet while lizards usually have five toes on both front and back feet. In addition, salamanders are often found near water while lizards tend to prefer drier habitats such as deserts or grasslands.

What looks like a lizard but not a lizard?

There are a few animals that look like lizards but are not actually lizards. Geckos, skinks, and anoles are all types of reptiles that resemble lizards but belong to different families. All three have similar features to lizards such as scaly skin and four toes on each foot but they can be distinguished by their unique patterns or colorings.

What’s a big lizard called?

The term “big lizard” can refer to a variety of different reptiles. The largest living species is the Komodo dragon, which can grow up to 10 feet in length. Other large lizards include the Gila Monster, Iguana, and Chameleon. [4]

Which animal has three eyes in the world?

Tuatara, a species of reptile endemic to New Zealand, is the only known animal in the world with three eyes. Two of its eyes are located on either side of its head like a normal lizard, while the third eye is located between and slightly above them. This third eye is believed to help the Tuatara regulate its body temperature by detecting changes in light. [5]

Where do salamanders live?

Salamanders can be found in a variety of habitats including forests, swamps, and even some deserts. They prefer moist environments such as ponds or streams, where they feed on insects, worms, and other small invertebrates. Some species of salamander live underground and rarely venture above ground.

Useful Video: Lizard Vs. Salamander


As you can see, there are many differences between salamanders and lizards. But the most important difference of all is that salamanders are amphibians and lizards are reptiles. This means that salamanders live in water for part of their lives and on land for the other part, while lizards never go near water except to drink it. Salamanders usually have moist skin while lizard skin is dry. Another big difference is that baby salamanders look like tiny adults, but baby lizards look nothing like their parents–they’re usually bright colors with patterns that help them blend in with their surroundings until they reach maturity. We hope this article has helped clear up any confusion you may have had about these two groups of animals!


  1. https://www.dw.com/en/whats-the-difference-between-lizard-and-salamander/a-18180417
  2. https://www.prindleinstitute.org/books/the-salamander-room/
  3. https://www.purdue.edu/fnr/extension/it-is-a-salamander-no-it-is-a-lizard-are-they-different/
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_extant_lizards
  5. https://www.thetech.org/ask-a-geneticist/ask164