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Wednesday, 14 September 2016


Newts are small amphibians, a kind of salamander. 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.

Female newts lay one egg at a time on a an aquatic plant leaf. She sniffs the leaf to make sure it has the right cellulose amount and then after laying one egg she wraps it over the egg.

Many newts have three life stages. First as a tiny aquatic larva, which gradually undergoes metamorphosis. After leaving their larval stage, many species, like the eastern newt, become bumpy-skinned efts, adapted for life on dry land. A few years later, they return to the water to breed as adults, complete with webbed feet and paddled tails.

Young larva

In some newt species the adults stay in water for the rest of their lives. Others are land-based, but return to water each year to breed.

Newts are found in North America, Europe, North Africa and Asia. The Pacific newts (Taricha) and the Eastern newts (Notophthalmus) with together seven species are the only representatives in North America, while most diversity is found in Europe and the Middle East,

Like most lizards, the newt has the ability to regenerate parts of its body. After losing a limb, they can grow another one in a matter of weeks.

Newts are also capable of regenerating jaws, spinal cords, heart ventricles, tails and eyes. A team from University of Dayton studying the Japanese fire belly newt found it could regenerate its eye lens 18 times over a period of 16 years and retain its structural and functional properties.

Between 1985 and 2005, six different space missions sent the Spanish Ribbed Newt into orbit. Astronomers keep choosing this species in part because of its superhuman healing ability, so they could study the affect space had on the ribbed newt’s limb regeneration process.

Many newts produce toxins in their skin secretions as a defence against predators. The rough-skinned newt Taricha granulosa of the Pacific Northwest is the most poisonous animal in the Americas. Its venom is 10,000 times more poisonous than cyanide.

The Pacific newts (Taricha) are known for their toxicity.. By Connor Long - Wikipedia

Eastern newts emit a barely audible “tic-tic-tic” sound. California newts also make noises, clicking while walking through unfamiliar terrain, squeaking when handled, and whistling to ward off their rivals.


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