Eastern newt in exhibit

Eastern Newt

Scientific Name

Notophthalmus viridescens

Class

Amphibia

Order

Caudata

Range

Eastern North America

Habitat

Wetlands and forests

Estimated Wild Population

n/a
Eastern newt in exhibit
IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Least Concern

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Physical Description

Eastern newts, which can grow up to five inches in length, are usually brown or green with fine black dots all over their body. Their belly is yellow or orange and is lighter than the rest of their body. They possess gills as larva and do not leave their birth pond for at least three months, at which point they shed their gills and leave the water. This juvenile form is called the "eft stage." During this time, they sport a bright red coloration, which signals their toxicity to predators. After two or three years, terrestrial efts transition into their adult breeding life stage and return to a fully aquatic life. They primarily eat insects, small mollusks and crustaceans, young amphibians, worms, and frog eggs.

Interesting Fact 1

Eastern newts navigate using magnetic orientation.

Interesting Fact 2

Adults develop a larger, blade-like tail and characteristically slimy skin.

Interesting Fact 3

They require a moist environment near either a temporary or permanent body of water.

Animal Care staff working with seal

Commitment to Care

Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care. 

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Asian small-clawed otter in exhibit

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The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.  

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Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.

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