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The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), also known as the Mexican salamander and Mexican walking fish, originates from several freshwater lakes (Lake Xochimilco & Lake Chalco) in Mexico.

Known as the Salamander that never grows up, Axolotls are just so gosh darn cute and wonderful to own as a pet. This guide will teach you the requirements for an easy-to-maintain tank and how to provide proper axolotl care so it thrives. Common Names: Axolotl, Mexican walking fish, Mexican Salamander Scientific Name: Ambystoma mexicanum Species: A. mexicanum Family: Ambystomatidae Genus: Ambystoma Size: 6-18 inches long Lifespan: 10-15 years The axolotl was first introduced to Europe in 1863 to study their ability to regenerate their limbs, Axolotls quickly became a darling of the aquarium hobby due to their unique biology and their cute faces and infectious smile. A fully grown axolotl will be anywhere from 8-16 inches in length (15-45cm) and will be quite the looker with their wide head, lidless eyes, and four long thin legs with elongated fingers. Axolotls also have filament-lined gill stalks (which are called rami) that stick out from the back of their necks. Sadly, the world’s only remaining wild axolotl live in Lake Xochimilco. The population took a massive hit when Lake Calcho (axolotl’s native Mexican habitat) was drained to avoid flooding. As a result, huge numbers of axolotls were killed while the remainder began populating the canals of Xochimilco.However, their species is thriving in the aquarium hobby. And when provided with proper care and maintenance, an axolotl can live up to 17 years . Follow the instructions below to ensure you provide the right care for your axolotl to live a healthy life. Always ensure your tank water has gone through the nitrogen cycle before introducing your pet axolotl to their new aquarium. Sand substrate is the best and safest option when keeping axolotl as pets; particles of sand are very small and won’t cause any serious problems if your axolotl ingests them. Axolotls love to dig and play around in the sand, which can massively boost their wellbeing and help ensure that they don’t become distressed You can then decorate your tank also with lots of plants (java moss, anubias, and horword are great options), and have plenty of hiding spots like caves (can use PVC piping or plant pots). Using a plant-friendly LED light will be best as you can control the brightness and keep your plants healthy. You’re going to need a strong filter , but also ensure it doesn’t create a ton of water flow. Maintaining the correct water conditions is vital to your axolotls’ health, wellbeing and longevity. To ensure your axolotl tank is well maintained and water parameters are stable, you will need the following: During the change, you should be checking your water parameters, scraping off any unwanted algae, and vacuuming your substrate to remove any leftover food or debris. Axolotls are carnivoros: in the wild eating worms, insects, small fish, and generally anything they can fit into their mouths and swallow whole. The amount you feed your axolotl will vary depending on the age and individual. It’s vital that you learn how to treat these effectively so that you can bring your pet back to health quickly. Common signs of a stressed axolotl would be for them to lose their appetite, refusing to eat normally. Injury Axolotls have the ability to regenerate damaged tissue, so a lost leg shouldn’t be any alarm to you. Exposed wounds can quickly become infected, so during this period you need to monitor water parameters and ensure they are stable. Refusal to eat for multiple days Bloating Low waste production Often, this is caused when they ingest gravel or small stones, which is why it’s crucial that you house your axolotl with an appropriate sand-based substrate. In the case of impaction, fridging can encourage fast recovery and help them to eject anything nasty in their digestive system. Constipation as a result of overfeeding can also cause impaction, which is why adults should only be fed every 2-3 days at most. In cool temperatures, undigested food is ejected to prevent rotting. Make sure your fridge is between 5-8 degrees Celsius Prepare a container of dechlorinated water (not chilled) long enough for your axolotl to stretch to its full length. Transfer the diseased axolotl to the container and cover with a towel to prevent light disturbance. The salt works to kill off any infection, nursing axolotls back to health within a few days. Mix 1-2 liters of dechlorinated water with sea, rock, or aquarium salt. Repeat every 12 hours until the infection clears, and for 2-3 days after to kill any remaining fungus. They are soft-bodied amphibians with permeable skin and no true bones, making them vulnerable to damage easily. Axolotls tend to be more active at night or in low-light environments and can be wonderful to watch. They’re naturally clumsy creatures, so spend most of their days hanging out on the bottom of aquariums. Axolotls are voracious carneous that’ll eat anything they can fit in their mouths. For this reason, it is not smart to house an axolotl with any other fish, salamander, or shrimp etc, because they like to nibble, nip, and eat whenever they get the chance. Younger axolotls (around 8-16 cm in size) shouldn’t be housed together for this same reason: they’ll nip each other’s gills and feet and could cause serious damage. Fully-grown adult axolotls, on the other hand, may live together safely and will rarely attack one another. Axolotls possess the typical features you would expect to find on a salamander larvae: external fills and a caudal fin extending from behind its head to the vent. However, axolotls are neotenic salamanders, meaning they carry traits from their childhood into adulthood. A fully grown adult axolotl will have three pairs of gill stalks (rami) with filaments (fimbriae) used for breathing located behind their head. Their head will grow to be large and wide – giving them their famous axolotl smile. Males can be identified by their swollen cloacae lined with papillae (the area where he poops). The color of a wild axolotl would be a combination of mottled browns, greens, and golds with purple gills. Since their introduction into the aquarium industry, breeding has lead to more colorful morphs: GFP: Sometimes, a recessive gene called Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) may be present, causing axolotls to glow green under black lighting. Other variations: Other, less common morphs may include Piebald, Golden Non Albino, and Chimaerism. If you’re going to buy an axolotl, the first thing you will need to do is check if they are legal in your state or not. It is illegal to own an axolotl in California, Maine, New Jersey, and Virgina. If you’re legally allowed to own one, you should be aware you’re going to be buying a juvenile and it’ll cost anywhere up to $80usd. When looking at the axolotls available, make sure they have full feathery gills, clear skin with no obvious damage, eats normally, and looks adorable. Axolotls are fairly easy to breed, but there are still some measures you should take to ensure they’re able to mate successfully. This can be incredibly taxing and damaging to a non-developed axolotl, which is why breeding before 18 months isn’t a good idea. The University Of Indiana Axolotl Colony subjected males and females to decreasing periods of daylight to trigger spawning. You can try to replicate these conditions, but before you go to all that effort you should keep in mind, any room in your house exposed to seasonal changes (even partial ones), usually provides good enough conditions to spur on breeding. A pair of axolotls in perfect conditions with natural light should breed around once a year. But do be prepared for the fact they’re notorious for reproducing at odd, unpredictable times. You should populate your tank with many silk/live plants to give females a place to affix their eggs. During a typical breeding session, male axolotls will raise their tails, making vigorous writhing motions at the female as he leads her around the tank to their previously deposited spermatophores. Between a couple of hours and two days later, she’ll lay her eggs individually atop plant leaves, rocks, and scattered randomly around the tank. If you’re willing to put the time into providing the right tank, water parameters, and diet for an axolotl, then owning one will bring you a ton of entertainment. They don’t take any special care and attention, but they are susceptible to stress, so being disciplined with your tank maintenance is a must. Use this axolotl care guide I have provided you to ensure your pet lives a healthy and happy life. Males leave spermatophores around the tank which it leads the female towards during breeding.

How long do axolotls live as a pet?

Axolotls typically live 10-15 years in captivity, but they can live for over 20 years when they’re well-cared for. The oldest axolotl is unknown but their age could surprise as they become more common pets as some salamander species have incredibly long lifespans (more on that below!)

How long do axolotls live in a tank?

On average, the average lifespan of an Axolotl in captivity is around 10 years. There is a chance that the salamander will live longer though. In fact, some owners have reported lifespans of up to 20 years!

Can you touch axolotls?

While axolotls are relatively hardy to slight fluctuations in their environment, they also have delicate, soft bodies with permeable skin. In fact, most of their body is made of cartilage rather than bone. That means they should not be handled unless absolutely necessary.

Are axolotls hard to keep alive?

Axolotl care requirements are minimal, and provided temperature and water flow are well controlled, they are hardy, easy-to-care-for captives that breed readily in captivity. It is difficult to think of a more unusual display animal than the axolotl, and its bold and tame nature makes it an interactive pet.

Also known as the walking fish, Axolotls are some of the most amazing marine creatures. This Mexican walking fish is an amphibian and not a fish as most people presume. It is classified as a neotenic salamander and has close relations with the tiger salamander.

These amphibians mostly survive on a diet that comprises worms, mollusks, insect larvae, small fish, and crustaceans. In present times, they are commonly sold in different flavors and recipes in exotic Asian restaurants in Japan. This is because the rate of waste products of the amphibians is high, and hence the water in a small aquarium can become dirty pretty fast. Their failure to mature to adulthood contributes to why they spend all their life in water, without living on land like other amphibians. For starters, the increased pollution and spillage of waste into water bodies possess a significant threat to their existence. Due to the draining in Lake Xochimilco- the only freshwater habitat of these amphibians, the population of the creatures has declined significantly. In addition to this, the existence of axolotls has been threatened by the introduction of larger water creatures like tilapia that feed on the amphibians. Due to their unique abilities to regenerate limbs and body parts, there are ongoing studies aimed at identifying the medicinal impact of genes derived from these creatures. There are expectations that the gene extracts will be used for eliminating complications that arise during transplants, and for enhancing tissue healing and recovery for burn victims. Therefore, when seeking to buy these creatures for pets, it is necessary to consider their length for purposes of space availability in the aquarium. Axolotls can be a unique décor enhancement feature in public spaces such as living rooms or even receptions.

When the Aztecs settled the Valley of Mexico in the 13th century, they found a large salamander living in the lake surrounding the island where they built their capital, Tenochtitlán. They called the salamander “axolotl” after Xolotl, their god of fire and lightning. Xolotl was said to have transformed into a salamander, among other forms, to avoid being sacrificed so the sun and moon could move in the sky. He was eventually captured and killed.

When the Aztecs settled the Valley of Mexico in the 13th century, they found a large salamander living in the lake surrounding the island where they built their capital, Tenochtitlán . Wild axolotls live exclusively in the swampy remnants of Lake Xochimilco and the canals leading to it on the southern edge of Mexico City. In the 1970s and 1980s, though, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization introduced tilapia and carp fish to the salamander’s habitat to provide local people with more protein, according to a JSTOR Daily article . After a male and female nudge and stroke one another’s urogenital opening, called the cloaca, the salamanders step in a circle in a sort of waltz, according to the University of Michigan’s . American evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould described the salamanders as “sexually mature tadpoles” because they forever retain their juvenile characteristics: A fully aquatic lifestyle, a finned tail and frilly gills. Poor waste regulations and increasing tourism in Mexico City mean that trash, plastics, heavy metals and high levels of ammonia spilled from waste-treatment plants clog the canals where the salamanders live.

Axolotls are some of the coolest little creatures to have in an aquarium. These little fish-salamander hybrids, known as the Mexican walking fish, have quite the astounding lifespan.

However, axolotls are not very quick swimmers, they aren’t very agile, they don’t really have teeth or claws, and they have no real way of defending themselves. This number is unknown, but rough estimates place the total population of axolotls in the world, both wild and domestic, at under 10,000. Moreover, other aspects, such as pollution, loss of environment, and humans in general have caused a sharp decline in axolotl populations. If you don’t meet the ideal temperature requirements for these little guys they won’t live for long at all. Image Credit: vincenzo palma, ShutterstockAnother very important things to do is to ensure that the tank water is as clean as can be humanly be. Uneaten food, untreated waste, rotting plants, and other such things can all cause bad water quality, which can shorten axolotl lifespans and kill them. Feeding these animals a high quality diet that meets or even exceeds their nutritional requirements is a must. Now, an axolotl may enjoy some live foods because it helps them keep in touch with their instinct to hunt. Sure, axolotls can completely regrow lost limbs, but it still doesn’t do them any favors in terms of stress or their overall lifespan. If they are out of the water for too long, this protective coat will disappear, thus leaving the axolotl in immediate and grave danger. Sure, you need a filter , plants, and all of that other stuff, but what is very important to keep in mind with axolotls is that they require very specific substrate. If you don’t have the right substrate , when they ingest it, it can get impacted, or in other words, it clogs up their digestive tract, and this can quickly lead to death. The only viable option is to use high quality aquarium sand substrate which is designed to prevent impaction from occurring. Any large, fast swimming, voracious eating, territorial, aggressive, or bottom dwelling fish should be avoided. The bottom line here is that you need to follow all of the tips we have outlined today in order to give your axolotl a fighting chance to get to its maximum age.

Axolotl Facts & Species Profile Overview

Axolotl Care Sheet And Tank Set Up

Axolotls can be particularly sensitive to poor water conditions. Follow the instructions below to ensure you provide the right care for your axolotl to live a healthy life.Always ensure your tank water has gone through the nitrogen cycle before introducing your pet axolotl to their new aquarium.

Tank Requirements & Setup For Axolotl

Firstly, you need to pick your tank. You can get away with a 10 gallon aquarium for your axolotl, but you will find it much easier to manage them in a 20 gallon tank.Axolotls can produce a lot of waste, so giving them a larger body of water will help keep your tank’s water parameters stable. You should prioritize floor space over height. So you want a 20 gallon long tank.For substrate, you have two options: sand or bare bottom.A bare bottom tank makes it easy to clean and maintain your axolotl tank, however if your pet is unable to grip the surface it may become stressed.Avoid gravel substrate: axolotls feed by sucking water into their mouths, a gravel type substrate could get ingested. And if that happens, we’re talking about some serious gut problems, like impaction.Sand substrate is the best and safest option when keeping axolotl as pets; particles of sand are very small and won’t cause any serious problems if your axolotl ingests them. Axolotls love to dig and play around in the sand, which can massively boost their wellbeing and help ensure that they don’t become distressedYou can then decorate your tank also with lots of plants (java moss, anubias, and horword are great options), and have plenty of hiding spots like caves (can use PVC piping or plant pots).Axolotls don’t require any specific lighting, however, they can become stressed if the light is too strong. Using a plant-friendly LED light will be best as you can control the brightness and keep your plants healthy.As I mentioned before, Axolotls can produce a ton of waste. You’re going to need a strong filter, but also ensure it doesn’t create a ton of water flow.Axolotls prepare still or low-flow. Incorporating a spray-bar and spread out flow and minimize the effects. Other methods you could use would be to have plants around the outflow to reduce water pressure.

Axolotl Tank Maintenance

Maintaining the correct water conditions is vital to your axolotls’ health, wellbeing and longevity.Shop bred fish/shrimp/amphibians can often adapt to many water parameters. Ask your axolotl seller what water pH it has grown up in. Then prepare your tank to be at that range. A stable pH is what you are aiming for.

Stress

When it comes to feeding axolotls, you just need to know 4 things:Axolotls are carnivoros: in the wild eating worms, insects, small fish, and generally anything they can fit into their mouths and swallow whole.When you’re keeping axolotl as pets, you should be feeding a similar diet. You can feed them a variety of live and dead foods. Including:The amount you feed your axolotl will vary depending on the age and individual. You can slowly feed until it stops eating. Axolotls will stop eating once they are full so you can use this as a marker. And remember to always remove any uneaten food.For larvae and junior axolotls, you will likely be feeding them twice a day. For an adult axolotl, you can feed them once every 2 to 3 days.A healthy adult axolotl can go up to 2 weeks without eating.

Injury

Axolotls have the ability to regenerate damaged tissue, so a lost leg shouldn’t be any alarm to you. However, the risk you want to manage here is infection.Exposed wounds can quickly become infected, so during this period you need to monitor water parameters and ensure they are stable.

Floating Axolotls

Impaction is a condition found in axolotls when the digestive system becomes dysfunctional.Symptoms of impaction include:Often, this is caused when they ingest gravel or small stones, which is why it’s crucial that you house your axolotl with an appropriate sand-based substrate.In the case of impaction, fridging can encourage fast recovery and help them to eject anything nasty in their digestive system.Constipation as a result of overfeeding can also cause impaction, which is why adults should only be fed every 2-3 days at most.

Bacterial/Fungal Infections

Heat-stressed axolotls can develop dangerous bacterial and fungal infections, which is why you should routinely check your water temperature.Common illnesses include ‘red leg’ bacteria, characterized by red patches on the limbs; Columnaris, characterized by sluggishness and white grey patches; and Saprolegnia, characterized by white patches on skin and gills.These can all be treated using a salt bath or fridging.

Axolotl Salt Bath

Axolotls are native to cold water. For that reason, you can use lower temperatures to slow disease and infection.It’s also beneficial for impaction:In cool temperatures, undigested food is ejected to prevent rotting.To fridge an axolotl:

Handling Axolotls

You should never handle an axolotl or take one out of water.Axolotls should only be handled if 100% necessary. They are soft-bodied amphibians with permeable skin and no true bones, making them vulnerable to damage easily.If you have to, use a soft fine-mesh net.

Behavior, Temprement & Tank Mates

Axolotls tend to be more active at night or in low-light environments and can be wonderful to watch. They’re naturally clumsy creatures, so spend most of their days hanging out on the bottom of aquariums. It’s not uncommon to find your axolotl still with its legs up at an odd angle.However, don’t let their friendly disposition, large smiley-face, and all-round cuteness fool you. Axolotls are voracious carneous that’ll eat anything they can fit in their mouths.For this reason, it is not smart to house an axolotl with any other fish, salamander, or shrimp etc, because they like to nibble, nip, and eat whenever they get the chance.Younger axolotls (around 8-16 cm in size) shouldn’t be housed together for this same reason: they’ll nip each other’s gills and feet and could cause serious damage. It could be possible to keep them together if you’re experienced and keep them well fed.Fully-grown adult axolotls, on the other hand, may live together safely and will rarely attack one another. However, Axolotls are solitary amphibians and will not benefit from having another one in the tank.Axolotls should be housed alone. Especially if you are a beginner.

What To Know Before Buying An Axolotl?

Axolotls possess the typical features you would expect to find on a salamander larvae: external fills and a caudal fin extending from behind its head to the vent.However, axolotls are neotenic salamanders, meaning they carry traits from their childhood into adulthood. Most salamanders will lose their gills as they age, but not the axolotl.A fully grown adult axolotl will have three pairs of gill stalks (rami) with filaments (fimbriae) used for breathing located behind their head. Their head will grow to be large and wide – giving them their famous axolotl smile.They have lidless eyes and long, thin underdeveloped limbs with thin digits. Males can be identified by their swollen cloacae lined with papillae (the area where he poops). Females tend to have much wider bodies.A sexually mature adult axolotl (male & female) would be fully grown at 18-24months, and range in length from 6 to 18 inches long, although 9 inches is the most common. They can weigh as much as 10.5 ounces (300 grams).The color of a wild axolotl would be a combination of mottled browns, greens, and golds with purple gills. Since their introduction into the aquarium industry, breeding has lead to more colorful morphs:

Breeding Axolotl

Axolotls are fairly easy to breed, but there are still some measures you should take to ensure they’re able to mate successfully.Axolotls can reach sexual maturity anywhere between 5 months and a few years. but, shouldn’t attempt to breed axolotls before the age of 18 months.Female axolotls can produce more than 1,000 eggs- which is pretty impressive! The body prioritizes egg production over other processes like growth.But you should be aware:This can be incredibly taxing and damaging to a non-developed axolotl, which is why breeding before 18 months isn’t a good idea.

Axolotl Breeding Methods

It’s possible to breed axolotls at any time of year, though some sources advise that breeding is most successful from December to June.Here’s what the studies say:The University Of Indiana Axolotl Colony subjected males and females to decreasing periods of daylight to trigger spawning. The results were pretty effective.You can try to replicate these conditions, but before you go to all that effort you should keep in mind, any room in your house exposed to seasonal changes (even partial ones), usually provides good enough conditions to spur on breeding.A pair of axolotls in perfect conditions with natural light should breed around once a year. But do be prepared for the fact they’re notorious for reproducing at odd, unpredictable times.

Setting up a Axolotl Breeding Tank

You should populate your tank with many silk/live plants to give females a place to affix their eggs.Rough pieces of stone/slate should also be placed along the bottom of your tank, which will give males a place to deposit spermatophores.

Axolotl Courtship and Spawning

Males initiate spawning. They deposit around 5-25 spermatophores on top of stones and other items around their habitat.During a typical breeding session, male axolotls will raise their tails, making vigorous writhing motions at the female as he leads her around the tank to their previously deposited spermatophores.She’ll then pick these up and fertilization will take place internally.Between a couple of hours and two days later, she’ll lay her eggs individually atop plant leaves, rocks, and scattered randomly around the tank.She might lay 100-1,000 eggs per spawning session.

Hatching Axolotl Eggs

While albino morph eggs will appear bright white after a few hours, normal eggs will be dark brown.After 2-3 weeks, these eggs will hatch and axolotl larvae will emerge.Keep the eggs kept well-aerated; an air pump will help to do this. At 20 degrees Celsius, eggs should hatch around 14-17 days later.

Are Axolotls Right For You?

If you’re willing to put the time into providing the right tank, water parameters, and diet for an axolotl, then owning one will bring you a ton of entertainment.Their adorable, wide-grinned face and clumsy nature makes them one-of-a-kind. They don’t take any special care and attention, but they are susceptible to stress, so being disciplined with your tank maintenance is a must.Use this axolotl care guide I have provided you to ensure your pet lives a healthy and happy life.

What is the lifespan of axolotls?

Axolotls are some of the longest living amphibians with a lifespan of between 10-15 years in their natural habitats. However, in captivity as pets, their lifespan can go beyond 15 years as most of the natural threats are eliminated when in aquariums. These amphibians mostly survive on a diet that comprises worms, mollusks, insect larvae, small fish, and crustaceans. Axolotls are regarded to be a top predator in their natural habitats.In captivity, these amphibians mostly feed on readily available foods such as salmon pellets, trout, frozen bloodworms, wax worms, and earthworms.

Which are some of the crucial facts worth knowing about axolotls?

Since axolotls are some of the fascinating marine creatures, they possess unique feature and attributes. Some of the abilities of these creatures such as limb regeneration are crucial in enhancing their long life. Here are some of the must-know facts about these amphibians:

Ability to regenerate lost limbs and body organs

Incredibly, these amphibians have the ability to regenerate lost limbs and body organs within a few weeks. If these amphibians suffer injuries to their lungs, spinal cord, heart, and parts of the brain, these parts grow back without any scarring whatsoever. This is because the creatures have a unique protein known as c-Fos that is crucial for aiding the regeneration process. There is no limit to the number of times that the creatures can regenerate injured parts and limbs.

The feathery branches on the head double as their gills

In addition to having fully functional lungs, these creatures also have gills for aiding in their breathing. However, studies show that the creatures do not fully depend on the gills for breathing when in water. This is because they often come to the surface to breathe using their lungs. The gills come in handy when the amphibians are busy feeding on the floor of the lake.

Axolotls feed by suction

Axolotls do not chew their food. Instead, they feed by suction. This is achieved by interlocking and closing the gill once the food enters the mouth. The creature then sucks on the food in the mouth instead of chewing it like other water creatures. These amphibians are carnivorous and hence much of their diet includes insects, tadpoles, small fish and worms.

Axolotls are edible

Unknown to most people, these amphibians are edible marine creatures. A few decades ago, the amphibians were a vital component of Aztec diets. They were prepared into tamales served with cornmeal. In present times, they are commonly sold in different flavors and recipes in exotic Asian restaurants in Japan. Their taste and flavor are similar to those of chicken or eel.

Axolotls are favorite pet options for many people

There are lots of people across the globe who keep axolotls as pets. For people keen on adding these amphibians as part of their pet collection can purchase them online. If you are considering keeping these creatures as pets, it is crucial to construct a large aquarium.The ideal aquarium size for axolotls is one that can hold up to 10 gallons of water or more. This is because the rate of waste products of the amphibians is high, and hence the water in a small aquarium can become dirty pretty fast. You do not need to add lighting to the aquarium but it should have a lid. You can feed the pets with worm cubes and pellets that are easy to find in most pet stores.

Axolotls have neoteny characteristics

The most amazing attribute about these creatures is they do not grow into adulthood. Instead, they retain their youthful characteristics and appearances throughout their life. This rare feature is referred to as neoteny and can only be found in these creatures. Upon reaching maturity, the amphibians reproduce while still in their larval stage. Their failure to mature to adulthood contributes to why they spend all their life in water, without living on land like other amphibians.

Breeding happens early in the year

Axolotls reach breeding age within 6 months. The breeding season occurs early in the year and starts from March or through to June. In the wild, breeding happens only once in a calendar year, but in captivity, the breeding can occur up to two times in a year. Spawning occurs in late winter when the temperature of the water is moderate and temperate.

Are Axolotls endangered species?

Like other marine creatures, the existence of these amphibians is critically endangered. There are several factors that threaten the existence of these creatures. For starters, the increased pollution and spillage of waste into water bodies possess a significant threat to their existence.Due to the draining in Lake Xochimilco- the only freshwater habitat of these amphibians, the population of the creatures has declined significantly. In addition to this, the existence of axolotls has been threatened by the introduction of larger water creatures like tilapia that feed on the amphibians. The existence of these creatures in artificial habitats is mostly threatened by poor handling and feeding.

Use of Axolotls in modern medicine

Due to their unique abilities to regenerate limbs and body parts, there are ongoing studies aimed at identifying the medicinal impact of genes derived from these creatures. What is more unique about these creatures is that they exhibit unique resistance to cancer in comparison to mammals. There are expectations that the gene extracts will be used for eliminating complications that arise during transplants, and for enhancing tissue healing and recovery for burn victims.

Where do axolotls live?

Wild axolotls live exclusively in the swampy remnants of Lake Xochimilco and the canals leading to it on the southern edge of Mexico City. Axolotls once also lived in Lake Chalco, another of Mexico City’s five “great lakes” where the ancient Aztecs settled. But all of those lakes, except for Xochimilco, were drained by the 1970s to prevent flooding and allow urban expansion,Axolotls’

The axolotl mating dance

Axolotl reproduction starts with dancing — literally. After a male and female nudge and stroke one another’s urogenital opening, called the cloaca, the salamanders step in a circle in a sort of waltz, according to the University of Michigan’sAxolotls go through this courtship once a year, typically from March to June. With the courtship dancing behind her, the female axolotl will individually attach her 100-300 jelly-coated eggs on aquatic plants or rocks. Around 10 to 14 days later, the eggs hatch, and the young fend for themselves. It takes about a year for axolotls to become sexually mature.Unlike most amphibians, axolotls never metamorphose into lung-breathing, terrestrial adults. American evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould described the salamanders as “sexually mature tadpoles” because they forever retain their juvenile characteristics: A fully aquatic lifestyle, a finned tail and frilly gills. This evolutionary phenomenon of “everlasting youth” is called paedomorphosis, or neoteny. Scientists can force axolotls in the lab to metamorphose by

Are axolotls endangered?

TheA substantial captive population exists in research labs around the world, accounting for several thousand individuals. But these salamanders stem from 33 individuals shipped to Paris from Xochimilco, Mexico, so the population is highly inbred.