So here, because you surely want to know, is an explanation of what rough-skinned newts are doing in ponds right about now:
Males arrive at the breeding sites before the females, and undergo a transformation. Their dry, bumpy skin becomes moist and smooth, their tails flatten, and their cloaca (a vent on the animal's underside for digestive, excretory, and reproductive tracts) enlarges, and "nuptial pads" develop on their feet and hind legs. These pads help the male grip the female during their slippery underwater courtship. He entices her by clasping her from above, stroking her with his hind legs, and rubbing his snout across hers.
He deposits a spermatophore (sperm packet) on the pond bottom in front of her, and if he has successfully wooed her, she picks it up with her cloaca. Fertilization occurs internally, and the female will lay her eggs one at a time, attaching them to submerged plants throughout the pond.
|Lookin for love in all the wrong places--|
find a pond, Newt! Photo by Henk Wallays
And next year, the resulting newts will probably return to the same pond they were hatched in to engage in their own watery trysts.
So there you have it, and you need no longer lie awake at night, wondering how newts reproduce.