The axolotl, also known as axoloti, is a Mexican amphibian that only lives in the complex of Lake Xochimilco, located on the outskirts of the Federal District. It is an amphibian with a broad head, round eyes without lids, short limbs and feathered external brachiae that protrude from the back of its head, which gives it a peculiar appearance..
One of its most important characteristics is that it is a larva that does not finish its metamorphosis, although we can also highlight that this curious animal has a cartilaginous skeleton that never calcifies, as well as different colors. The expression on their face is endearing, and although they can be 30 centimeters long, the usual is that they measure approximately 15 centimeters.
This animal is considered as proof of the evolutionary process that transferred life from the sea to the land, as well as being part of the various tourist attractions in Mexico. In this article we show you various curiosities of the axolotl.You may also be interested in: Curiosities of the dung beetle Index
- Neoteny in the axolotl
- Regeneration capacity
- Albinism in axolotls
- Axolotls have lungs, but they don't use them for breathing
- The axolotl, a powerful predator
- The axolotl, an amphibian that suits captivity
- Endangered specie
- Do you want to know more about amphibians?
Neoteny in the axolotl
Neoteny is a quality that allows the axolotl to be able to retain the characteristics of the larval stage in adult life. This is seen in its dorsal fin, which runs the entire length of its body and is similar to that of a tadpole, and in its outer brachiae that protrude from the back of its broad head..
All amphibians pass from the larval stage to adulthood, therefore neoteny is an exclusive ability of the axolotl, however, exceptionally, the axolotl can acquire physical characteristics of an adult amphibian in non-larval phase, having in this case an appearance very similar to the Mexican salamander.
Salamanders have the great capacity to regenerate any of their limbs if they have been amputated, and not only do they provide these new tissues with an identical structure to the previous one, but it also manages to become fully functional again.
The latest scientific research carried out in this regard adds some light to this phenomenon and suggests that the immune system of these animals is essential to provide their organism with this extraordinary capacity for regeneration..
This ability is much more intensified in the axolotl, which is no longer only capable of regenerating its tail or limbs, but can also regenerate any other organ such as the kidney, heart or lungs, achieving a full functionality of them in approximately 2 months (period of time that also shares the regeneration of the salamander).
Albinism in axolotls
Albinism in animals was especially known with the endearing Snowflake, the only albino gorilla in the world that has been known to live in the Barcelona zoo.
Albinism or lack of color in the skin is a condition caused by a recessive gene, that is transmitted to the offspring when both parents are carriers of the causative gene. It is common to find albino axolotls, among the diversity of colors that these amphibians can present: black, brown or with spots.
Axolotls have lungs, but they don't use them for breathing
The habitat of axolotls is water, so despite having developed lungs, they do not use them to breathe, but instead obtain oxygen from the water. through gills and skin.
They have skin structures that allow them to absorb oxygen from the water, therefore, the lungs only fulfill a structural function, since although they are developed, their alveoli do not carry out the activity that corresponds to them.
The axolotl, a powerful predator
The axolotl has some strong teeth and jaw that allow it to grab and tear its prey, its diet is mainly carnivorous and includes mollusks, small fish, larvae, crustaceans and insects.
The cannibalism phenomenon We can also observe this animal in this species, since axolotls that have dimensions smaller than normal are eaten by other larger axolotls..
The axolotl, an amphibian that suits captivity
The life expectancy of the axolotl ranges between 10 and 12 years, on the other hand, when it is bred in captivity can live up to 15 years and even more.
In addition, keeping it in captivity is relatively simple and one of the main advantages is that only needs to be fed every 2 or 3 days.
Unfortunately, despite the peculiar characteristics of the axolotl, which make this animal one more attractive in Mexico, the species known as axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum and Ambystoma Bombypellum) are in danger of extinction.
The reasons are diverse although among them we can highlight the contamination from the waters of the lake and that this amphibian is considered a delicious edible delicacy.
If you are very interested in adopting an axolotl as a pet, we recommend that you adequately inform yourself of the origin of the animal through an approved certificate of captive breeding. If not, you may be promoting animal trafficking. ¡Help protect the planet with your actions!
Do you want to know more about amphibians?
At AnimalWised we are passionate about all kinds of animals including amphibians, for that reason do not hesitate to inform you about frogs such as the green tree frog, blue arrow frog, or red-eyed green frog.
Do not hesitate to tell us if you have any questions about the axolotl, want to share a photograph of yours or curiosities that we do not know.