November 2017: Axolotl

Scientific Name Ambystoma mexicanum
Alternate Name Mexican Axolotl, Mexican Salamander, Mexican Walking Fish, Walking Fish, Water Dog, Water Monstrosity, Water Player, Water Serpent, Water Slave, Water Sprite, Water Twin
Collective Name Harem
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Caudata Ambystomatidae Ambystoma
North America Wetlands, Artificial/Aquatic & Marine
90-182 g. 3-6 oz.
22-31 cm. 9-12 in. 5-15 yr.
Critically Endangered Solitary Cathemeral
Decreasing Polygynandrous Carnivore
Fore Hind

The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum,) is a unique species of mole salamander that displays neotony as it never fully matures and physically resembles a tadpole. While permanently remaining in a larval state, this amphibian fails to metamorphose and, instead, remains aquatic for the entirety of its life. This species is listed as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and can only be found in the deep brackish waters off the southern edge of Mexico City. Although endangered in the wild, the axolotl makes a popular pet and can be found in a variety of colorations.

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