The animals on the cover of Designing Evolvable Web APIs with ASP.NET are warty newts (Triturus cristatus). Also known as northern or great crested newts, these amphibians are found all over northern Europe, from the UK to just past the Black Sea. It is the biggest and least common of the three newts that live in the British Isles, and is protected there by the Biodiversity Action Plan, which seeks to catalog and form conservation plans for threatened animals.

Warty newts normally spend most of their lives on land, but do return to ponds and pools to breed. The larvae, or “efts,” hatch after about three weeks and live underwater for a time. They undergo metamorphosis at four months old, at which point they become air-breathing juveniles who leave the ponds for land. There, they feed on worms, insects, and insect larvae. Adult newts may even hunt in ponds for other newts, tadpoles, young frogs, insects, or water snails.

Because they are relatively defenseless, warty newts prefer to live in terrestrial habitats that are covered, such as scrub, grass, and dense woodland. Females are larger than males and can measure up to 15cm long. Both genders display the same types of color patterns: dark gray to black backs and flanks, and yellow or orange undersides that are covered with black blotches. During the breeding season, males can be distinguished from females by their jagged crests, which runs along their backs.

From October to March, these newts hibernate under logs and stones in the mud at the bottom of their breeding ponds. Normally, newts return to the same breeding site each year, and generally do not stray more than half a mile from the place where they were born. Although it is possible for some warty newts to live as long as 30 years, most live for about 10 in the wild.

The cover fonts are URW Typewriter and Guardian Sans. The text font is Adobe Minion Pro; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is Dalton Maag’s Ubuntu Mono.

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