A belly as colorful as a California poppy!

Right now, the California newts are out and can be found in the cool damp forest floor or near small ponds and creeks. Adult newts will stay in the pools throughout the breeding season and can be occasionally found well into the summer. We have one at The Cottage living in the waterfall pond. They have chocolate topped bodies with golden eyes and its underside is almost the color of a California poppy. They blend in well with the fallen redwood leaves that have decomposed to …well, a redwood color. Adults can range from 5 to 8 inches long and I almost step on them when out for a hike.

 

The California newt has a unique way of fending off predators. First, they raise their head and point their tail straight out to expose their bright under exterior color to warn off predators. If the predator attacks, the California newt excretes a neurotoxin through its warty skin and can cause paralysis and or death to its attacker.

 

Newt’s venture from afar (up to 2 miles), to breed in the pond in which they were born. No one knows exactly how they find their way, but some suggest they navigate starry skies or are keen to familiar smells. It’s been estimated that California newts can live for more than 20 years too.

 

Published by Amy on: Mar 27, 2017

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