Hi guys! Today I’m going to talk about the axolotl, an animal that has amazed me for ages.
Axolotls are technically just salamanders, but are so much more than that. Instead of losing some features as an adult, they keep them. As adults, they still have their dorsal fin and gills, which form cool fringes around their heads. Another amazing feature that they have is the ability to regenerate almost any part of their body. Because of this, they are important features in tissue repair and cancer research.
Their amazing name comes from Xolotl, the Aztec god of fire and lighting, who shapeshifted into the form of a salamander. Atl is the Aztec word for water, so combine the two, and you have water salamander. It can also be translated as “water dog”.
Baby axolotls are called larvae, and a group of axolotls is called a tank.
Axolotls can only be found in the lakes at Xochimilco, in Mexico. Because of their exclusive habitat, their population is struggling due to water pollution and lake draining. They are widely spread in pet shops and aquariums, but are diminishing in the wild. Thus, they are sadly an endangered species.