Facts about Axolotl
They are very distinctive animals with unusual characteristics. In nature, despite never reaching an adult form, they are capable of reproduction. Remaining in the larval stage all their lives, they retain many breathtaking characteristics, causing envy among other living organisms. They are eagerly studied by scientists trying to learn about their fascinating regenerative abilities. Since breeding axolotls is quite simple, they can often be found in home aquariums.
1The axolotl is an amphibian of the Ambystomatidae family.
This family contains more than 30 species of amphibians: Ambystoma – 32 species, and Dicamptodon – 4 species.
2The axolotl is native to Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco in the Valle de México, Mexico City.
Today, axolotls can be found only in the southern parts of Lake Xochimilco since Lake Chalco was artificially drained in the late 1860s to prevent flooding.
3It is closely related to the tiger salamander, an amphibian native to North America.
Unlike its cousin, however, the axolotl, lacking thyroid-stimulating hormone, never leaves the aquatic environment unless it is artificially stimulated to undergo metamorphosis with exposure to appropriate hormones.
4Their size ranges from 15 to 45 centimeters, although they rarely exceed 30 centimeters in length.
5Axolotls stay primarily at the bottom of the lake.
When kept in captivity, they can suck the substrate from the aquarium along with their food, which can cause severe problems with their digestive system. Therefore, it is valid not to fill the aquarium with gravel but with sand grains not exceeding 1 mm. It is also not recommended to place objects with a diameter of fewer than 3 centimeters, which axolotl can easily swallow. Ingested stones and gravel are prevalent causes of death.
6Axolotls do not transform into adults.
It is due to the lack of thyrotropin, a hormone necessary for the thyroid gland to produce hormones allowing metamorphosis.
7The most interesting phenomenon associated with the axolotl is neoteny.
It means acquiring sexual maturity without undergoing metamorphosis. Wild axolotls do not outgrow the juvenile stage; they remain in the aquatic environment and retain their gills.
8Axolotls reach sexual maturity usually at a year old.
9Axolotls spawning season is in February.
Females can lay up to thousand eggs that hatch within two or three weeks. "Parents" do not tend to their offspring.
10Axolotl's eyes are lidless.
It is because eyelids are developed during metamorphosis. This process allows amphibians to adapt to a terrestrial lifestyle.