Axolotl Baby Profile

The Axolotl is a neotenic salamander and is also popular as one of the most unique and unusual species in the world. It is a Mexican walking fish but actually, it is not a fish. Yes, it is an amphibian. This unique is most commonly found in the freshwater lakes and ponds of Mexico.

Axolotl Baby Facts Overview

Habitat: Freshwater lakes & ponds

Location: Mexico

Size: 15 – 45 cm (6 – 18 inches)

Lifespan: 10 – 15 Years

Weight: 2 – 8 ounces (0.06 – 0.1 Kg)

Colour: White, pink & dark brown

Top Speed: 15 kph (10 mph)

Diet: Worms, tadpoles, insects, small fish

Predators: Birds (storks & herons) & other large fish

Conservation Status:

Critically Endangered

The most unusual thing about axolotl is how they reach adulthood. They do not undergo metamorphosis such as they do not develop legs and lungs and this usually happens in the amphibians. The Mexican fish keeps its larval stage’s characteristics and retains aquatic life.

The axolotl is about 15 to 45 centimetres in length at the adult stage. And they grow to the weight of 0.06 to 0.1kg but sometimes can reach up to 0.5kg in captivity. Axoloti mostly eats the smaller species in the water and focuses on the tiny, molluscs fishes, and arthropods. The diet of this Mexican fish might include additional freshwater creatures such as salmon eggs, terrestrial worms, and zooplankton.

This unique creature is considered a critically endangered species and in fact, it is extinct because of habitat loss as well as the introduction of invasive species into its habitat.

Interesting Axolotl Baby Facts

1. They have an amazing ability to regenerate body organs and lost limbs.

This is incredible but axolotls have the ability to re-grow their lost limbs within a few weeks. Axooloti can even regenerate their heart, lungs, spinal cord, and part of the brain. If the Mexico walking fish goes through a head injury, it heals without having scarring. A study by the University of Minnesota revealed that a protein known as c-Fos is highly essential for the regeneration process of the axolotl. 

If you cut, crush and remove a segment of the spinal cord, it has the ability to regenerate. Similarly, you can do the same with the limbs, the upper arm, the elbow, the wrist and they will regenerate. Even there will be no scarring, every tissue is replaced with the new one. The tissue has the ability to regenerate 50, 60, and even 100 times, and every time they are perfect.

2. Axolotl is able to regrow the same limb up to 5 times.

There is a limit that how ant times this unique creature has the ability to regrow the limbs. Scientists found that the limbs regrow five times and then after the fifth time the scar formation started.

3. They have highly functional gills.

Mexican water fish has gills but also contain fully functional lungs. Most of the time they rise to the surface for a gulp of air.

4.  They are 1,000 times more resistant to cancer than any other mammals.

Scientists are hoping that with an axolotl baby we will be able to eliminate cancer and may also increase the human lifespan.

5. These unique species are only be found in Mexico.

Axolotl Baby

The natural habitat of QAxoloti is the Xochimilco lake which is an older network of canals and lakes in southern Mexican cities. However, axolotl may also survive in water tanks, aquariums, and research labs around the world.

6. They do not chew their doos instead they feed by using suction.

This is something strange about them. They do this with the help of rakers and close the gill slits as food into their mouth. Axoloti’s are carnivorous and eat mostly insects, worms, tadpoles, and even the smaller freshwater fishes.

7. They use gravel to eat food.

During feeding, the gravel is usually combined with the small aquatic animals that suck into the mouth of Mexican walking fish. Moreover, the axolotl also uses gravel for the ints body for the purpose of regulating buoyancy.

8. They have few predators.

There are only a few predators of this species and have few competitors that love to enjoy the taste of axolotl. These species include Tilapia and Carp that love to eat them.

9. Neoteny, their unique characteristic.

Neoteny is a term that is used to describe those species that keep their characteristics until they reach adulthood without passing through the many phases of the change.

10. Their name came from the Ancient Aztecs who revered means water dog.

This unique species has a mythological connection with the Xolotl that has a dog-healed Aztec God in terms of mythology. Xolo was considered the God of lightning, fire, death, and deformities. It is also known that the Xolotl was afraid of being transformed into a plant and then an axolotl to hide.

11. Male and female axolotl are easily distinguished.

The adult females have a round plumpy body and have smaller cloaca than males. The female axolotl is smaller in size than the male one but this does not happen always. While the adult male has a large and wide head with eyes that have no eyel8ids. Males have also longer tails than the females and larger and swollen cloaca that is lined with papillae.

There are four pigmentation genes in both males and females that produce different types of colours during the process of mutation. More common to find these water species in creatures in albino form because their skin is permeable.

12. Their breeding season starts early.

When the axolotl reaches about 6, months of age, it is now sexually matured. The breeding season of axolotl typically runs from March to June. Spawning occurs in the winter season when the levels and temperature are more temperate. Breeding in them usually occurs once a year but sometimes 2 and 3 breeding cycles are possible in axolotl.

13. Breeding initiates with a dance.

Breeding in the axolotl begins with the waltz which is a dance. This dance plays serves as an initial phase of mating between the two. While both males and females dance in a circular motion, they both rub their cloaca against each other’s cloaca. After vigorous shaking of a tail, the male axolotl drops a cone-shaped sperm. The female picks up the sperm with her cloaca while shaking her tail and the fertilization begins.

14. Female axolotl lays numerous eggs covered in a protective sheet.

The female axolotl lays a huge number of eggs such as about 300 to 1000 eggs that are deposited in the water. Each egg is attached to a substrate for protection. Most of the time the female lays eggs on the plants to save them from predators. The eggs hatch in about 2 months and the baby axolotls are independent of the moment they step out from the egg. In other words, parents do not have to do parenting, the axolotl baby quickly learns how to eat and even survive.

15. They are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN list. 

Pollution and Desiccation are the main cause behind the continuous decline in the axolotl. Pollution and Desiccation of the canal system in lakes in Chalco and Xochimilco are the result of urbanization that causes the extinction of This Mexican Walking Fish. 

Conclusion

Axoloti baby is so rare and has some unique characteristics defined above. These are also important in the field of the medical field and in the international pet trade. 

You Should Also Read about Amusing Facts about Bumblebee Catfish.

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