Trivia question for Oct-16-2011

Posted on Oct 16, 2011 in Trivia

Olivia found these slimy creatures interesting.  The larva of this species eats any animal that it can subdue, including other young of its own species which might be sharing the same pond.

The range of these guys extends from Great Britain and Brittany in the west across much of Europe north of the Alps and the Black Sea. It is the biggest and least common of the three species found in the British Isles and is one of only four amphibians which are protected by the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

These guys have dark grey-brown backs and flanks, and are covered with darker colored spots so that they appear almost black in color. Their undersides are either yellow or orange-colored and are covered in large black blotches, which have a unique pattern in each individual.

Males can be distinguished from females by the presence of a jagged crest during the breeding season. This runs along their backs, then a separate smoother-edged crest runs above and below the tail (in some other species, the crest along the back is continuous with the tail crest). They also have a silver-grey stripe that runs along the tail.

So here are Olivia’s questions:  Tell us what this prehistoric creature is and how fast they can regenerate a lost limb?  Also, tell us why these guys are protected under the ‘Wildlife and Countryside Act’ of 1981?

Good Luck 😉


Congratulations goes out to Tami Kannenberg from Bellingham, Washington for being the first with the correct answers to our trivia. The fierce looking amphibian we featured is the Great Crested Newt. The Great Crested Newt, also called Northern Crested Newt or Warty Newt and is found across Europe and parts of Asia.

If these guys should unfortunately lose a limb, they can usually regenerate it in less than six months.   Since the 1940s, populations of Great Crested Newts have declined in most of Europe due to loss of habitat. In England, Wales and Scotland, it is a protected species under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is an offense to:

  • Intentionally kill, injure or take a Great Crested Newt
  • Possess or control any live or dead specimen or anything derived from a Great Crested Newt
  • Intentionally or recklessly damage, destroy or obstruct access to any structure or place used for shelter or protection by a Great Crested Newt
  • Intentionally or recklessly disturb a Great Crested Newt while it is occupying a structure or place which it uses for that purpose.

In the United Kingdom, habitat of the Great Crested Newt has diminished due to land development pressure from population growth and agricultural expansion; for example, it is considered eliminated from its prior range at the Portlethen Moss Nature Reserve in Scotland. Here is more on these amphibians: Great Crested Newt

Thanks for playing along 😉