Can you imagine living underground for nine months of the year and not eating, drinking, or defecating? An amazing group of animals do just that—amphibians. It’s hard to imagine that in this dry region animals that require consistent moisture could thrive. Permeable skin allows amphibians to live in Petrified Forest. Amphibians do not drink; instead, they absorb water through their skins. Spadefoot toads, residents of the park, absorb water from the soil in which they hibernate. Although permeable skin allows for water absorption, it provides little barrier to evaporation. This causes amphibians’ water balance to be in constant flux. Evaporative water loss also results in loss of body temperature. This is why you often see amphibians on warm pavement in the evening. It is not an easy life for amphibians in this dry grassland.
Last updated: May 2, 2013