In the struggle for existence as individuals the Amphibians, or Batrachians, seem to have a minor position. For the most part of insignificant size, with poorly protected bodies, and with retiring and inoffensive habits, these forms which we know as toads, frogs and salamanders, seem to be poorly adapted to maintain their species. From what the paleontologist tells us, we may well believe that the Amphibians as a class arose, flourished, and then declined to their present insignificant proportions long ago. It is because of the relationships of this group that it is of profound interest to science. It forms a connecting link, or rather a series of connecting links between the strictly aquatic Vertebrates, the Fishes, and the terrestrial forms. Presenting two distinct phases, a larval aquatic and an adult terrestrial condition, it presents for our observation the actual evolution of an aquatic, branchiate form into a terrestrial pulmonate form. Furthermore some forms retain the branchial organs throughout life, while others hardly give us a hint of a much shortened aquatic stage. This metamorphosis is not merely superficial, but is accompanied by profound morphological and functional changes.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Sciences
©1900 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Norris, H. W.
"The Morphology and Function of the Amphibian Ear,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 8(1), 76-78.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol8/iss1/9