Urodela – Salamanders

A slim body, four legs, and long tails are the characteristics of newts and salamanders. Preferring dark and wet places, they can be aquatic, terrestrial, or amphibious as adults and have complicated life cycles. Salamanders and newts cannot be distinguished scientifically.

Members in this order are typically nocturnal to avoid predators. Many species are brilliantly colored to alert predators that they are poisonous to consume. Others mimic the patterns of their poisonous cousins to stay safe. When trapped, the animal’s tail frequently falls off and twitches to confuse its attackers while the rest escapes. Intricate courtship rituals are common among members of this group, and males may acquire bright colors to lure female attention.