THE AMAZING NEWT
Now, here is an amazing creature.
A newt is a salamander in the subfamily Pleurodelinae, also called eft during its terrestrial juvenile phase. Unlike other members of the family Salamandridae, newts are semiaquatic, alternating between aquatic and terrestrial habitats over the year, sometimes even staying in the water full-time. Newts have the ability to regenerate limbs, eyes, spinal cords, hearts, intestines, and upper and lower jaws!
Amazing Facts About the Newt
- Newts have the ability to regenerate limbs, eyes, spinal cords, hearts, intestines, and upper and lower jaws!
- The Great Crested Newt, Britain’s largest amphibian, can grow twice as big as other newts – up to 18cm long and live for up to 15 years.
- The Great Crested Newt is black and warty in appearance with an orange and black spotted underside, with the markings characteristic to each individual. In the mating season he develops a large wavy crest down his back.
- Male Great Crested newts have an elaborate courtship display. It involves a male standing on his front legs in front of a female with an arched back while he waves his tail and crest around.
- Male smooth newts have a smaller crest to display to females, whilst palmate males have palmed feet and a whip at the end of the tail.
- Female newts lay one egg at a time on a specially selected piece of pond plant. She sniffs the leaf to make sure it has the right cellulose amount and then after laying one egg closes the leaf around it with her back legs and glues it shut over the egg.
- Newts are predators of other pond animals – Great Crested Newts can eat smooth newts and tadpoles
- When newts come out of water after breeding they can travel up to 1km to look for food such as worms and beetles. They live in damp habitats on land.
- Newts hibernate in winter usually under logs and stones and in rubble piles. Some individuals occasionally spend the winter in the bottom of ponds
- The main predators of young newts and the eggs (and of most other pond life) are fish. Larger predators such as foxes, grass snakes and herons eat the adults.
- Many newts produce toxins in their skin secretions as a defense mechanism against predators.
- Type: Amphibian
- Diet: Usually omnivores, including worms, insects, water snails
- Lifespan: 2-15 years
- Size: 5-20cm
- Weight: 10-50g
- Habitat: Varied. Adult newts have lizard-like bodies and may be either fully aquatic, living permanently in the water, or semi-aquatic, living terrestrially but returning to the water each year to breed.
- Range: North America, Europe and Asia.
- Scientific name: subfamily Pleurodelinae of the family Salamandridae
Clancy's comment: Extraordinary creature, eh? I hope some scientists are investigating how these critters can regenerate parts of their body.
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