Rare Mexican Fish Axolotl (Ambystoma Mexicanum) (Video - Photos)

One of the most incredible animals on this planet, it's all about it's physiology and the ability to regenerate not just it's tail like a lizard but any part of it's body, from tail. limb, jaw or even an eye.

Unfortunately this animal is close to being extirpated from the wild, it is indigenous to Mexico and because of human encroachment this beautiful creature is on the brink of extinction.

The remarakable axolotl is part of the family of ‘mole salamanders’, but exhibits an unusual and extreme trait known as neoteny, or paedomorphosis. This is the retention of larval stage characteristics throughout life, so axolotls usually never fully resemble an adult salamander.

Unlike other amphibians, most axolotl fail to metamorphose, living permanently in water . Although it does develop lungs, the axolotl’s most bizarre feature is its retention of its branch-like gills. These are external projections from the neck on each side of the head.

Each side has three branches covered with feathery filaments which increase the surface area for gas exchange. The axolotl has a long, slim and darkly coloured body, and short legs, with four digits on the front feet and five digits on the hind feet. Albino individuals have been bred in captivity, but are not known to live in the wild

Photo Credit: Seb-Photos

Although the axolotl remains in larval form throughout its life, it becomes sexually mature between 12 and 18 months of age. Males ‘dance’ to initiate courtship, nudging the female before depositing several cone-shaped packets of sperm known as spermatophores onto rocks and plants. These are taken up by the female’s cloaca, for internal fertilisation of her eggs. She lays the eggs 24 hours later, each one becoming enveloped in mucus as it emerges. They become glued to each other and to the substrate where they incubate for two to three weeks. A single female axolotl can produce up to 400 eggs in a day, averaging 175 – 200.

The axolotl is inactive during the day, resting on the substrate with the gills splayed. They move slowly and may surface occasionally to take a breath of air (3). Young axolotl feed on algae, but older individuals will take aquatic invertebrates. The axolotl is primarily preyed upon by herons.

A species of fascination to scientists the world over, the axolotl has many study-worthy traits. Whilst able to remain in larval form throughout its life, the axolotl can metamorphose into a fully-adult Mexican salamander if its habitat dries up. Additionally, rather than forming scar tissue when wounded, tissues at the wound site convert to a stem cell-like state, meaning that they are able to re-grow missing tissue in its entirety, even a whole limb. (Source)


Responses to "Meet Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) "the Happiest Animal in the World" "

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why don't they try to breed these little guys in zoos? They are adorable and should be tried to save them. I'm sure there's aquariums through out the world that could house these guys.

  2. Morgana says:

    Very cute.

  3. Unknown says:

    I see the eternal "divine child" aspects, but still I don't get the title - why happiest animal :-) ?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cause it looks like its smiling

  5. Anonymous says:

    It's adorable Love it.. They should continue breeding them. .

  6. Unknown says:

    wow ,, love it ,, very interesting,, Love under water life ,,

  7. Sabine says:

    They're so very cute!

  8. Anonymous says:

    "very cute in a funny kind of way"

  9. Anonymous says:

    What a species we are-to be able to almost render extinct such an amazing (and undeniably cool) creature than can not only re-grow entire limbs but also metamorphose into a land dweller if its habitat dries up! I mean how resourceful does this poor guy have to be? Anyone else ever ashamed to be human? When I die if I cant come back as a wolf I wanna come back as an axolotl!!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am often ashamed to be this time when we have and/ or are distroying the entire plant....including ourselves........just watch them speed time up-----> monsato

  11. VIRGINIA says:

    THEY ARE SO CUTE!!!!!!

  12. Unknown says:

    he reminds me of a mudpuppy that becomes a tiger salamander. Ssooooooo special and cute

  13. Fili says:

    What a amazing animal... I hope we can help repopulate them instead of killing them...

  14. Unknown says:

    They are so strange, they're cute. Maybe scientists out there should study them so to help humans that lose a limb or an organ. I know they're reproducing organs in pigs ...

  15. Anonymous says:

    About 7 years or so ago my local mall was selling these guys and I owned one as a pet......his name was pedro and he was awesome!

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