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Everything You Need To Know About Axolotls

Amphibians

Everything You Need To Know About Axolotls

Ambystoma mexicanumPhoto by rubund

What Is an Axolotl? Axolotl, commonly known as the Mexican Walking Fish, looks like a fish, but isn’t a fish. The word “axolotl” has a lot of notable meanings among circles of people, and this includes either water doll or water dog. Axolotls are often kept as exotic pets. It is the real life Pokemon! Pokemon is actually a character based on the life an axolotl.

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Axolotl, commonly known as the Mexican Walking Fish, looks like a fish, but isn’t a fish. The word “axolotl” has a lot of notable meanings among circles of people, and this includes either water doll or water dog. Axolotls are often kept as exotic pets. It is the real life Pokemon! Pokemon is actually a character based on the life an axolotl. Axolotls mostly live in water and are amphibians – this means they possess both a lung and gills – and almost never come out of water, they can hold their breath and take in oxygen using their gills.

They are closely related to salamanders and interestingly an adult axolotls look so much like a baby salamander. An observable difference between an axolotl and a salamander is that they don’t transform into adults that can live outside water, which is termed Neoteny. Neoteny is found in most amphibians and is caused by a random genetic mutation or dropped levels of iodine which is necessary for the development and growth of the organism, and also for the production of the thyroxin hormones. Neoteny can be triggered by very low temperatures which suppresses prior productions of these hormones.

Regenerative Powers

They have the amazing ability of walking underwater and also the power to regenerate various lost  cells and unlike almost any other vertebrate, their regenerative power don’t just stop at cells; even complete body parts are not left out, such as; eyes, kidneys,  gills, even large portions of its liver and heart muscles can be regenerated. Virtually all body parts can be regenerated by this amazing creature which is why scientists are quite fascinated by it.

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They can be cannibalistic

Baby axolotls can be cannibalistic, so it’s best they are raised in separate aquariums. A number of adult axolotl can be kept together but they can still be cannibalistic, so you have to be watchful, because an axolotl’s body part can get chewed off by a tank mate, but you can be rest assured it will regenerate it. They are carnivorous animals. They are not generally prone to hiding despite not being entirely energetic and active all of the time, but still they are a very fascinating creature to observe.

Axolotls are practically blind!

Most natural axolotls are dark grey or black in color, and in captive, most are often white. An adult axolotl can measure up to 12 inches in length and weigh up to 8lbs They are solitary except when mating and the female axolotl can lay between 300 and 1,100 eggs. An axolotl can live up to 15 years in a cozy tank at home. Axolotls are on the brink of extinction which is caused by consumption of axolotls by most rural populations as well as destruction of most of its habitat via pollution and withering of lakes and canals through sewage and chemical disposals. These factors don’t present a promising future for these jolly creatures.

Video by: delfiend

We hope factors working against their survival changes for the better so we can enjoy seeing these beautiful creatures for many years to come.

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