1. Great crested newts are the biggest newt species in the UK and have been around for approximately 40 million years.
2. Males have a long, wavy crest along their body which is more pronounced during the breeding season.
3. They also have an extravagant courtship display to woo females: they stand on their front legs, arch their back and wave their tail around as if they are dancing.
4. The great crested newt is black or dark brown in colour and has a rough, ‘warty’ appearance. However, its underside is bright orange with irregular black blotches.
5. The great crested newts diet consists primarily of invertebrates including insects, worms, water snails, larvae and sometimes tadpoles.
6. After mating each female lays around 200 - 300 eggs, and wraps them inside the leaves of pond plants.
7. The skin of a great crested newt contains glands that secrete a poisonous substance to deter predators!
8. It takes immature newts between two and four years to reach sexual maturity, an adult newt then living up to 15 years.
9. Great crested newts hibernate from October through to February, when the cycle of life starts all over again.
10. The Great Crested Newt is one of only three amphibians which are protected by the Uk Biodiversity Action Plan.
What can you do?
Great Crested Newts are found in Cranham Brickfields, Cranham Marsh and The Manor Nature Reserve. Why not give them a visit?