Rough-skinned newt Facts

Rough-skinned newt Facts
Rough-skinned newt is a type of amphibian that belongs to the family of true salamanders. There are 2 subspecies of rough-skinned newts that can be found along the western coast of North America (from Alaska to California). Rough-skinned newt inhabits grasslands, coniferous forests, woodlands and areas near the lakes, ponds and rivers. These animals are popular and often kept as exotic pets. Despite that (over-collecting from the wild), rough-skinned newts are not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Rough-skinned newt Facts:
Rough-skinned newt can reach 5 to 8.5 inches in length.
Rough-skinned newt has olive green, light brown or brownish-black skin on the back and bright yellow, orange or red belly. Its skin is dry and has granulated texture (hence the name "rough-skinned").
Rough-skinned newt has flattened head, rounded snout, stocky body, well developed limbs and crested tail.
Rough-skinned newt is mostly active during the night (nocturnal animal).
Rough-skinned newt is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on various types of insects, eggs and larvae of other salamanders and (rarely) small fish.
Rough-skinned newt secretes toxic substance called tetrodotoxin from the glands in the skin to protect itself against predators. This toxin belongs to the group of neurotoxins and it can induce skin irritation (after dermal contact) or paralysis and death (after oral intake) of humans. One newt contains enough toxin to kill 25.000 mice.
Rough-skinned newt exposes brightly-colored belly in the case of danger. Most predators retreat at this point because of the well-known "law of nature": bright colored creatures secrete toxins as defense mechanism.
Common garter snake is one of the rare animals that can safely consume rough-skinned newts.
Rough-skinned newt spends most of its life on the solid ground. It lives in the water only during the breeding season.
Mating season of rough-skinned newts takes place from December to July (usually from March to April).
Skin of rough-skinned newts (of both sex) becomes smooth at the beginning of the mating season. Entire body of males starts to change (cloacal lips become swollen, tails more flattened and digits well developed) to facilitate gripping of females in the water.
Rough-skinned newts breed in the water. Large number of males wrestle around female to impress her. Female chooses and mates with only one male.
Female attaches mass of eggs to the aquatic plants in the shallow ponds, lakes or slow-flowing streams. Larvae emerge from the eggs after 20 to 26 days.
Larvae live in the water until they complete transformation (process called metamorphosis) into juvenile newts. Metamorphosis lasts 4 to 5 months. Juvenile rough-skinned newts leave water and live on the solid ground until they reach sexual maturity, at the age of 4 to 5 years.
Rough-skinned newt can survive 18 years in the wild and 19 years in the captivity.

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