Calcium is present in amphibian blood at a concentration similar to that in other vertebrates, about 1–2 mmol l-1. The fraction of free calcium in amphibians is lower than that in other tetrapod vertebrates because about 50% of the plasma Ca2+ is bound to plasma proteins and perhaps other molecules. Plasma [Ca2+] varies seasonally, increasing in spring and summer and decreasing in winter. Changes in plasma [Ca2+] also occur during larval development, as the concentration of this ion increases in larval forms as they approach metamorphosis. Calcium is exchanged at a variety of sites in animals. There is evidence for Ca2+ uptake across the skin and gills of larval anurans. It is also transported into the blood from the small intestine (especially the duodenum) and reabsorbed in renal tubules from the glomerular filtrate. The possibility of Ca2+ absorption from urine stored in the urinary bladder has not been confirmed, however. Calcium is stored in bone and in specialized endolymphatic sacs. This Ca2+ can be mobilized when the need arises. There are a number of endocrine and other humoral factors that appear to be involved in amphibian calcium metabolism. These include parathyroid hormone, calcitonin, vitamin D and prolactin.

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