Interesting facts about the Mexican axolotl

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We found 16 interesting facts about the Mexican axolotl

Ambystoma mexicanis

These are very characteristic animals with unusual properties. In nature, they never reach adult form, but are still capable of reproduction.

Remaining in larval form throughout their lives, they retain many amazing features that are the envy of other living organisms. They are eagerly studied by scientists who are trying to learn about their amazing regenerative abilities.

Since breeding axolotls is quite simple, they can often be found in home aquariums. The price you will have to pay for one person is between 80 and 100 zlotys.

1

The Mexican axolotl is an amphibian from the family Ambystidae.

This family includes more than 30 species of amphibians.

2

This species is found in the wild south of Mexico City.

Today they can only be found in the southern parts of Lake Xochimilco, previously they also inhabited Lake Chalco (it was artificially drained to prevent floods and spills) and probably Texcoco, Zumpango and Xaltocan.

3

They are closely related to the tiger amphibian found in North America.

However, unlike their relative, they never leave the aquatic environment unless they are artificially stimulated to metamorphosis by activating the appropriate hormones.

4

In axolotls, the phenomenon of neoteny is observed, i.e., puberty occurring at the larval stage.

To reach sexual maturity, they do not transform into an adult form, remain in the aquatic environment and retain gills.

5

Axolotl eyes do not have eyelids.

This is a rather unusual feature for amphibians, which evolved this feature to adapt to a terrestrial lifestyle.

6

They are predators and catch prey by creating negative pressure.

They prey on small animals such as shellfish, insects, arthropods and small fish. They locate their victims using their sense of smell and, upon approaching them, suck them in using the negative pressure created by their stomach.

7

They reach sexual maturity at the age of 18 to 27 months.

Then they reach sizes from 15 to 45 cm, although they rarely exceed a length of 30 cm.

8

Axolotls do not develop into adults.

This is due to a lack of thyrotropin, which is necessary for the thyroid gland to produce hormones that cause metamorphosis in amphibians.

To learn more …

9

Axolotls that have undergone metamorphosis change their physiology.

Their muscle tone increases, their gills atrophy, their eyelids develop, and their skin becomes more impermeable to water. The lungs also develop and are present in the larval form, but in a rudimentary form. This series of changes allows them to adapt to terrestrial conditions. They resemble salamanders of the species Ambystoma velasci, although they have longer toes.

10

Axolotls were one of the pillars of the daily diet of the Aztecs.

Considering that the Aztec civilization ate all living things, it is not difficult to imagine that these animals became common prey for fishermen.

11

Despite the dramatic population decline, axolotls are unlikely to go extinct.

They are readily kept in aquariums, where they reproduce quite easily. To breed these amphibians, we will need a freshwater aquarium with a volume of 150 liters, preferably a plant one. In such conditions they will develop calmly and reproduce willingly. Unfortunately, they may soon disappear from the natural environment forever.

12

Axolotls stay near the bottom most of the time.

When kept in captivity along with food, they can eat the aquarium substrate, which can lead to problems with the digestive system.

To learn more …

13

They have amazing regenerative mechanisms.

Axolotl wounds heal and do not scar, and are also capable of regenerating limbs, tail, elements of the central nervous system, eye tissue, heart muscle and even some parts of the brain.

14

They can transplant other people's organs.

There are cases where eyes or a fragment of the brain from another axolotl were transplanted, and they completely regenerated and acquired full functionality.

15

In 1998, 6000 individuals were found per square kilometer of Lake Xochimilco.

In 2008, this number dropped to 100, and in 2013 no specimens were found.

16

This species is endangered.

This is mainly due to the increasing urbanization of areas around Mexico City, water pollution and the emergence of invasive fish species such as tilapia and perca. These fish feed on young axolotls, effectively reducing their population. The number of individuals living in the wild is estimated to be between 500 and 1000.

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