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Newt

Newt Facts

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassLissamphibia
OrderCaudata
FamilySalamandridae
GenusPleurodelinae
Scientific NameLissotriton Vulgaris
TypeAmphibian
DietOmnivore
Size5-15cm (1.7-5.9in)
Weight10-50g (0.3-1.8oz)
Top Speed42km/h (30mph)
Life Span2-15 years
LifestyleSolitary
Conservation StatusLeast Concern
ColourBlack, Brown, Grey, Green, Orange, Red, Yellow
Skin TypeScales
Favourite FoodWorms
HabitatTemperate forests and river banks
Average Litter Size100
Main PreyWorms, Insects, Water snails
PredatorsBirds, Fox, Reptiles
Special FeaturesPermeable, toxic skin and feathery gills

Newt Location

Map of Newt Locations

Newt

The newt is a small amphibian and the average newt only tends to grows to around 15cm long, some newts however are bigger or smaller depending on the species of newt. The newt is found naturally in North America, Europe and Asia and the newt is thought to be a subspecies of the salamander.

A newt tends to lay its eggs individually, with the newt normally finding ponds or slow-moving streams in which to do this. The individual newt eggs attach themselves to aquatic plants and hatch in about 3 weeks. The main difference between newt eggs and frog or toad eggs is that the eggs of the newt are laid individually and are attached to plants. Frog and toad eggs float close to the surface of the water and are usually found in big clumps, where there are often hundreds of eggs together.

The newt tadpoles have a slight resemblance to baby fish, other than the fact that they have feathered external gills. The baby newt will grow legs during the first few months, at which time, the baby newt will be able to explore both water and land.

The newt is generally a solitary animal but some species of newt are known to hibernate in groups. Newts generally come together during the mating season which tends to take place in early spring.

People commonly keep fire-bellied newts, paddle-tail newts and crocodile newts as pets. The newt is seen as a good pet to keep as the newt is small and quiet and some species of newt, like the great crested newt native to Europe can get to 27 years old.

There are thought to be around 15 different species of newt found throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and many of these newt species contain toxins in their skin which helps the newt to defend itself from predators. Certain species of the Pacific newt, found in North America are particularly toxic, with some of these newts containing enough toxin in there skin to kill and adult human.

Newts are known best for their lizard-shaped body, with four legs and a long tail. Not only do newts have the incredible ability to breath both underwater and on land, but newts are also able to regrow limbs, should the original limbs of the newt become damaged. One theory as to why is this happens is that the chemicals that allow newts to regrow limbs, are the same as chemicals that produce tumors in other animals. These fast growing, and reproducing cells are thought to be very similar in both newts and tumors in other animals.

Due to loss of habitat and pollution, the newt populations throughout the world have been severely declining. Conservation effects in both the UK and the USA have led to the native newt populations being allowed to try and increase in number once again.