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Axolotl   (Ambystoma mexicanum)
Category: Amphibians

 

 

These completely aquatic salamanders are also known as the Mexican salamander or Mexican walking fish. They are a neotenic salamander, meaning they never lose their gills and live an entirely aquatic existence; they reach sexual maturity without every going through metamorphosis. The axolotl is a voracious carnivore, eating any small fish, worms, and insects that blunder close enough to their vacuum of a mouth. This voraciousness extends to each other, as well -- an axolotl small enough to fit into the mouth of a tank-mate may find itself eaten! And even if they are the same size, they may still bite one another if not well fed.

Learn more about Axolotls at Reptiles Magazine.

 

Data & Facts

Scientific Classification
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Amphibia
Order - Caudata
Family - Ambystomatidae
Genus - Ambystoma
Species - A. mexicanum

 
Amphibians - Animal Facts

Did you know?


Before reptiles and mammals appeared to challenge amphibian supremacy on the land, amphibians were much larger. But while they have shrunk in size over the last 315 million years, the Chinese Giant Salamander never got the memo: at up to 5.9 feet in length and 66lbs, this amphibian is longer than your dog, and probably weighs at least as much! Compare that to Paedophryne amanuensis, the world's smallest frog (and smallest vertebrate) who is the size of a house fly! Due to habitat loss, environmental changes, and over-hunting/collecting, the Chinese giant Salamander is critically endangered, though conservation efforts to save it are underway today.