Science: Red Efts

Triturus viridescens is a U. S. newt which spends the first three to six months of its life as a water larva, then—in some parts of the country at least—comes out to take up residence on land. On land the newts are bright red in color, are known as "red efts." During this phase they are immature and cannot reproduce. After three or four years, they go back to the water, slough off the red skin of adolescence, assume the olive-green garb of adults, acquire the keeled tail of an aquatic animal, and tackle the business of parenthood. Question: What impels...

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