Axolotl is a neotenic salamander, closely related to the Tiger Salamander.
The species originates from numerous lakes, such as Lake Xochimilco underlying Mexico City. Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate limbs. As of 2010, wild axolotls are near extinction due to urbanisation in Mexico City and pulloted waters.
Their limbs are underdeveloped and possess long, thin digits. Males are identified by their swollen cloacae lined with papillae, while females are noticeable for their wider bodies full of eggs. Axolotls exhibit a property called neoteny, meaning that they reach sexual maturity without undergoing metamorphosis. Many species within the axolotl's genus are either entirely neotenic or have neotenic populations.
Things To Do
- Can you identify which ones are male and which ones are female?
- Have a look at them feeding...Can you see how they do it?
- Check out their external gills, do you see them breathing in and out?
- Spot the 4 colours commonly associated with these creatures...