Why are salamanders and newts not reptiles?

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megamind-616 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Salamanders are long and slender. So they look similar to a lizard, which are reptiles. However, salamanders are most closely related to amphibious newt. 

The main difference between a reptile and an amphibian is that reptiles are covered with dry scale while amphibians are covered with moist skin. Their skin types are reflective of each of their habitats. Whereas reptiles live primarily on land, amphibians can live both in water and on land. Their reproductive cycles are closely tied to their habitats. Reptiles lay hard-shelled eggs that are adapted for the land whereas the eggs of amphibians are soft and must be moistened by the water. Most amphibians undergo a metamorphosis (a series of changes) from being water-breathing juveniles to becoming terrestrial adults. 

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