Hicks Road
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Foraging California Newt
Hicks Road@Sierra Azul
On a wet winter morning I found this newt foraging for food at the base of a burned-out stump.
So intent on its quarry, it ignored my presense long enough for me to take these photos.
Notice how it slowly "coiled" itself to leap. I suspect its tail muscles aided its spring.

Taken from a different angle, the photo at right shows the newt's position after it leaped. A couple of things are worth noting. In the earlier photos, the newt looked every inch a serious predator. I have observed this same tensed, coiled postion in other newts before they spring. But having missed its prey, the newt relaxes and once again looks like the harmless, sweet-faced amphibian with which we are familiar. A second observation is that this newt appears to have lost and regrown its tail. Newts and salamanders can regenerate lost appendages.

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Additional newt photos:

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