Written on: 08/09/2006 by e4chin (30 reviews written)
Fun, easy to take care of
Cannot handle with dry skin
Newts are small, usually bright-coloured semiaquatic salamanders of North America, Europe and North Asia, distinguished from other salamanders by the lack of rib or costal grooves along the sides of the body.
Newts have the ability to regenerate limbs, eyes and spinal cords, so you can be rough with them but they still feel pain so don't tare off its toes, kids. The cells at the site of the injury have the ability to de-differentiate, reproduce rapidly, and differentiate again to create a new limb or organ. One theory is that the de-differentiated cells are related to tumour cells since chemicals which produce tumours in other animals will produce additional limbs in newts.
Many newts produce toxins in their skin secretions as a defense mechanism against predators. The Taricha newts of western North America are particularly toxic; the Rough-skinned Newt (Taricha granulosa) of the Pacific Northwest produces more than enough tetrodotoxin to kill an adult human foolish enough to swallow a newt. Note that in order to produce harm, the toxins have to enter the body by being ingested or entering a break in the skin.
Please do not handle with dry skin. It will dry out the newts skin. I had a friend who learned this the hard way, plus your hands have oils that can be poisonous to newts, just like they have toxins poisonous to us, (see above), so for the newt and yourself, wash you hands before and after handling them.
Feeding is easy, just throw a few crickets in the holding tank and watch them hunt. Fun for the kids!!!
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