ONH

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    1 - Rough-skinned Newt, Taricha granulosa.

    04/21/2007 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    2 - Rough-skinned Newt.

    04/21/2007 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    3 - Note the pebbly and quite dry looking skin of the Rough-skinned newt.

    05/04/2005 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    4 - Note the orange belly.

    05/04/2005 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    5 - Rough-skinned Newt.

    05/04/2005 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    6 - A Rough-skinned newt walking across the snow.

    03/20/2009 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

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    7 - A Rough-skinned newt walking across the snow using the characteristic leg movements of newts.

    03/20/2009 Heart O' the Hills Area, Olympic National Park, Washington

Rough-skinned newts wander across our roads on wet days in the spring and occur in and around our pond throughout the summer. On one occasion, I found one walking the same route when it was covered in snow (slide 6). They are widespread in lowland west coast locations.

One of the few poisonous animals in Washington State, they contain tetrodotoxin, the same toxin found in fugu, a fish which, when prepared correctly, is a delicacy in Japan. (See Tetrodotoxin by Jim Johnson)

An article in the journal Nature described differences in the tetrodotoxin content of Rough-skinned newts in different locations. (See Nature abstract) More on Rough-skinned newts and their coevolution with garter snakes at the Berkeley web site Understanding Evolution.

Rough-skinned newts can be identified by the dark, bumpy back and the orange underside.