Don’t Lick this Newt!

Bacteria digest food around them and produce waste products. Sometimes these waste products are dangerous. Such is the case of the bacteria that live on the skin of the rough-skinned newt. These bacteria produce a neuro toxin that can stun or paralyze a predator. This is the same sort of toxin in poison frogs and puffer fish and if concentrated—could kill a person or two! Natural predators like snakes seem to build-up an immunity to the toxin, so the bacterial defenders may be how the newt continues to defend themselves.

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