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Reptiles And Amphibians

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Great crested newt

Triturus cristatus

Description:
Up to 17 centimetres long, with rough skin, the crested newt varies in colour from greyish-black to brownish-oil green above, while its underside is bright orange with numerous dark spots. During the breeding season, the male becomes brightly coloured with two saw-toothed crests, one on the tail and the other on the body.

Habitat:
Living in freshwater ponds, the crested newt can be found throughout most of Europe.

Habits:
When swimming, the crested newt pulls its legs in close to its body and uses its tail. Its lungs have a small volume, causing it to sink when it stops swimming. Like all amphibians, it breathes through its skin. Adults hibernate in the mud at the bottom of a pond, and young on land near water. It feeds on tadpoles, water snails, worms, insects, young frogs and insect larvae.

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