Newts

Last week I found, collected and studied some newts, I housed them temporarily in a plastic aquarium for a few days before returning them to the pond. From what I researched, I think these are smooth newts, which are common around Britain (apart from our garden it seems).

After hibernation in the winter months, the adults return to ponds in the spring to spawn. Like frogs, they mate and lay masses of similarly formed eggs. Their tadpoles also start off looking much alike, but as they develop, they go through a stage of metamorphosis where they look exactly like smaller versions of their parents with the addition of external feathery gills behind the head.

I have to admit, I was pretty mesmerised by them in their tank. They don’t really swim as such (except for quickly getting to the surface for a gulp of air), but clamber around underwater, slowly guiding themselves with their arms and legs in circular motion. I noticed that they don’t move their eyes either, they’re always just fixed looking outwards.

Here’s a little video made up of various SLR images on continuous shutter.

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~ by Adam Bone on June 5, 2010.

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