Over the last couple of weeks I've visited the seasonal ponds in the East Bay at Sibley Volcanic Preserve and small creeks at Briones Regional Park and found California newts engaging in their spring rituals of courtship and mating.
Recent discoveries of a Lilliputian lizard and elfin amphibian, fascinating in their own right, highlight one of the most enduring questions in biology: what controls the evolution of body size? They also provide a rare bright spot amid the relentless reports of endangered and disappearing amphibian and reptile species around the world.
The newts are on the move again. Each fall, after the rains start, the newts of Berkeley’s Tilden Park start migrating from the woods to waters of Wildcat Creek, where they mate and lay their eggs. South Park Drive, popular with cyclists and Sunday drivers, crosses their migratory path. Each year from November 1 to April 1 the road is closed to cars, to prevent the newts from getting squished. (How did the newt cross the road? Not by being run over, that’s for sure.)
Post on Nov 01, 2010 by Jennifer Skene
It's entirely possible to spend years living in the Bay Area and never encounter a California Newt. This tiny amphibian spends most of its time living in burrows and holes. But once year, the newts make an epic migration (at least for them) to nearby ponds for mating season. It's incredible to see dozens of [...]
Post on May 22, 2008 by Lauren Sommer
A Pacific Chorus FrogWhen I was growing up in the Bay Area the chirping croaks of native tree frogs often serenaded us to sleep. The sound of those little Pacific Chorus frogs calling to each other was always familiar background music to long summer nights. Those were days of catching pollywogs down at the creek [...]
Post on May 06, 2008 by Chris Bauer