The Grand Teton National Park is home to some of the most unusual species of amphibians from around the world. The word ‘amphibian’ has its roots in ancient Greek, and translates to ‘double life’ – as the amphibians have a unique two stage life cycle.
Amphibians are terrestrial – they can survive both in water and land. The eggs hatch in water and the larvae breathe through gills in water. They develop lungs after their metamorphosis stage although most adult amphibians prefer to live near water throughout their life span. They have moist, smooth skin with no scales and no claws on their toes. Being cold blooded, they cannot regulate their body temperature like mammals and birds which limits their growth and diversity in the cold and dry climate of the park. Amphibians are highly sensitive to environmental changes and these interesting creatures are also an important link in the food providing web.
Amphibians that are found in the Grand Teton Park include Spotted Frogs, Tiger Salamanders, Boreal Toads, Boreal Chorus Frogs, Bull Frogs and Northern Leopard Frogs. You can see these amphibians in their natural habitat near the lakes, streams and river bank along the floor of the valley. While spotted frogs are usually found lurking near the String Lake, along the Snake River and the Taggart Lake, boreal and leopard frogs are usually rare as they are gradually disappearing from the area. Sightings of these should be reported to the visitor center. Bull frogs are mostly found just outside the park area and chorus frogs are easily found during the May-June breeding season.