Newt Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Grace Miller

Mary Grace has taught first grade for 8 years and has a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and is licensed in ESL.

You've probably heard of a newt, but would you recognize a newt if you saw one? This lesson will teach you all about these amazing amphibians, including facts about their habitat, diet, and life cycle.

What Are Newts?

Your friend just got a pet newt, and you go over to his house to see it. Newts are really weird looking animals! They look a lot like frogs, but also like fish.

Newts have both legs and tails on their bodies.

Newts are amphibians. An amphibian is an animal that is cold-blooded, has a backbone, and has wet skin. Frogs are another example of amphibians.

Like frogs, newts have legs for walking, but like fish, they also have tails for swimming! This way, newts can live both on land and in water. Newts are pretty small, usually between three and five inches long. That's about the length of your hand, so you could hold a newt really easily!

Where Do Newts Live?

Newts live in North and South America as well as the mild weather areas in Northern Africa, Asia, and Europe.

A young newt lives in the water at the beginning of its life.

Newts begin their lives in the water, in lakes or ponds. When newts grow a little older, they leave the water to live in woodlands or forests. They also live in bogs, which are wet, spongy areas of land.

As adults, newts are able to live in water and on land. They hibernate, or sleep through the winter months, either under the ground or in mud at the bottom of their pond.

What Do Newts Eat?

Newts eat small animals like bugs, worms, shrimp, and snails. They can find food both on land and in water. On land, newts use their tongues to eat bugs and worms. When they are living in water, they use their tiny teeth to eat snails and shrimp. Because they only eat animals, newts are carnivores. A carnivore is an animal that eats other animals instead of plants.

How Do Newts Grow?

Baby newts are called larvae. They hatch from eggs into the water and live underwater. Female newts only lay one egg at a time on a special pond leaf.

This red spotted newt is in the eft stage of its life cycle.

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