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Monday, May 8, 2017

Alligator Newt

Photo Credit: https://www.stlzoo.org
The alligator newt can be found in the Southern islands of Japan. They inhabit forests, grasslands, croplands, swamps; breeds in ponds and pools.

A newt is a salamander that spends much of its adult life on land but returns to the water each spring for a long breeding season.

The alligator newt is so-called because of its rough appearance, thanks to knobby glands located on the sides of the body. The glands are often tinted orange, as are the underside of the tail and the soles of the feet; otherwise, this critter is dark brown or black. It grows up to six or so inches in total length.

The day-to-day habits of the alligator newt remain rather mysterious because this little creature is well-hidden in its terrestrial (land) habitat. We do know that it eats a variety of small invertebrates, including earthworms, spiders, and insects.

Did you know?
Like many salamanders, the alligator newt has toxic skin secretions. But the alligator newt has a special way of passing its poison to a would-be predator. When grabbed, the salamander's sharp rib tips poke through the glands on the sides of its body, and the toxin is injected straight into the attacker. Now that hurts!

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