Creepy Crawlies in the Santa Cruz Mountains

It's newt season! California newts are out and about in the ponds and streams of the Santa Cruz Mountains for the next few weeks during their mating season.

8 photos
Gabrielle Coleman
A California Newt holds very still so as not to be noticed in a shallow pool of water in the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve in Cupertino. From late March to early May, newts migrate to streams to mate.
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Newts are amphibians and a type of salamander who live part of their lives in water and part on land. (All the newts in these photos are underwater.)
Gabrielle Coleman
California Newts can live 10-15 years in the wild and longer than that in captivity.
Chicago Tribune
Newts have few natural predators because they secrete a neurotoxin through their skin. If you do touch a newt - wash your hands right away.
Gabrielle Coleman
Different types of salamanders have different numbers of back toes. Some have no back legs at all and are long and snake-like.
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California Newts begin their lives as eggs laid in the water, then hatch into tadpole-like larvae. Like frogs, they grow legs, lose their gills and eventually live mostly on land.
California Newts can be found along the California coast from Mendecino to San Diego and in parts of the Sierra Nevada. These pictures were taken at the Monte Bello Open Space Preserve in Cupertino.
Gabrielle Coleman
The Monte Bello Open Space Preserve is offering a guided newt search on Sunday, May 16 at 10 am. For more information, check out their web site:
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