Where in the world?
Mexico’s Lake Xochimilco and surrounding wetlands.
Also called Mexican Salamanders or Mexican Walking Fish, Axolotls are salamanders, not fish! They are closely related to the Tiger Salamander in the western United States and Spotted Salamander in the eastern States.
Axolotls are carnivores, eating mollusks, worms, insect larvae, crustaceans and some small fish.
Axolotls exhibit paedomorphism, meaning they reach maturity while retaining juvenile traits. As they grow, these salamanders develop legs and lose the fin on their tails, but they retain their gills. This halfway metamorphosis prevents Axolotls from ever leaving the water like usual salamanders.
Did you know?
The natural habitat of the Axolotl has greatly diminished over the years. Wild individuals are now only found in Mexico’s Lake Xochimilco and surrounding wetlands. In captivity, Axolotls are studied for their regenerative capabilities and are kept as pets.