Newts possess feathery gills during the larvae stage but lose them as they grow older. These creatures are amphibians and like most can breathe on dry land and underwater. When a baby newt hatches from an egg it is called a tadpole. Newt tadpoles are born with gills and during this time can only breathe using them underwater. As the tadpole develops into a juvenile newt it will start to develop limbs and internal lungs that will help it to breathe in air. When this juvenile is ready it will spend most of its time on dry land using its new lungs to breathe.
When newts reach adulthood, they will return to the water and spend the remainder of its life there. These creatures use a process known as diffusion to breathe underwater since they no longer possess gills. This process is done by absorbing oxygen from the water through their thin, permissible skin. The oxygen in the water is absorbed and diffused directly into the animal’s blood vessels directly through the skin. It is for this reason that newts and most other amphibians must keep their skin moistened at all times, because they are very susceptible to having their skin dry out if kept away from water for too long, in which case will result in death.