Meaning: small usually bright-colored semiaquatic salamanders of North America and Europe and northern Asia
The peculiar thing about a newt's courtship is its restraint.
For the newt is, after all, only a newt, and has his weaknesses just as any of the rest of us.
It is carried on, at all times, with a minimum distance of fifty paces (newt measure) between the male and the female.
And it takes the closest kind of community team-work in the newt colony to get things anywhere near cleaned up by nightfall.
It is not generally known that the newt, although one of the smallest of our North American animals, has an extremely happy home-life.
Of all the newt workers, they are the most futile, which is high praise indeed. Come, let us look closer and see what it is that they are doing.
The male, in the meantime, is flashing his gleamer frantically two blocks away and is performing all sorts of attractive feats, calculated to bring the lady newt to terms.
In studying the more intimate phases of newt life, one is chiefly impressed with the methods by means of which the males force their attentions upon the females, with matrimony as an object.
And now that we have seen how wonderfully Nature works in the fulfilment of her laws, even among her tiniest creatures, let us study for a minute a cross-section of the community-life of the newt.
It is a life full of all kinds of exciting adventure, from weaving nests to crawling about in the sun and catching insect larvæ and crustaceans. The newt's day is practically never done, largely because the insect larvæ multiply three million times as fast as the newt can possibly catch and eat them.