The Axolotl is a salamander from the family of newts. Axolotl has different meanings, including water slave or water dog. This animal belongs to the Amphibians. They are up to 30 cm long if you include the tail. They are brown to black in colour, but the best known have a whitish or pinkish colour and are kept in captivity in aquariums. The special thing about the animal is that it doesn't undergo any major transformations, like most other salamander species. The Axolotl retains its larval characteristics while becoming sexually mature.
It is especially remarkable that the newt has a fish-like body, short legs and large flattened tail. What is most noticeable is the red-colored gills. Another special feature is that the animals feel soft and velvety, unlike the skin of other salamanders that feel rubbery.
The axolotl lives only in parts of Mexico and is not found anywhere else in the world. It lives in deep lakes and never comes to land. It used to live in different parts, but has disappeared from large parts of its original area. Many lakes where the animals used to live, have been drained to prevent flooding. Unfortunately, this has led to the animal becoming an endangered species. In 2009 there were no more than 1200 living specimens in the wild.
In Mexico they are found in the middle of the country, south of Mexico City. Here they live in mountain lakes and canals. The lakes are at an altitude of about 2200 meters above sea level.
1. The Axolotl is so adapted to life in mountain lakes that it can live permanently under water, so it never has to take a look above the water for a bite of air.
2. Newts that have grown up have a sausage-shaped body because they never completely trans-form as larvae.
3. The axolotl has small beady eyes with a black color, but they have no eyelids. This prevents them from closing their eyes and they are always open. How annoying would that be if you had that as a human being?
4. The Axolotl can recover without scar tissue. Even limbs that have been bitten off or torn off will grow back over time. Quite a unique superpower.
The axolotl was first brought from Mexico to Paris in 1863. Since then, all the animal's eggs have been sent from Paris all over the world. They have also been bred and even eaten in large numbers since then. In the United States, Australia, Japan and Great Britain the animal are also kept as a pet.
Photo by: Erzengel