Monday, November 22, 2010

Character: Rough-skinned Newt

Characteristics: Grey with a groovy orange belly, so slow moving you think it's dead, can breathe underwater, may or may not sell Geico products.

I ran into this critter the other week while moving a few things out in the yard. Usually when I'm lifting things (tarps, wood, outdoor things) I expect to see bugs, slugs, worms...and the odd snake. This time, I came across a rough-skinned newt. Good thing I didn't decide to pick it up (I wondered if it was alive -- it hardly moved!) because it's highly toxic. So toxic that one thirtieth of the toxin present in the skin of this newt can kill a person!* You have to eat it, but I've read that just touching the skin can cause irritation.  So it's a no-go on cuddling with it.

*Thanks for that tidbit, Wikipedia. 


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