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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?


Caecilians are amphibians with long, limbless bodies that resemble worms or snakes more than frogs or salamanders. Their name means "blind ones," a reference to their tiny, skin-covered (or in some cases, non-existent) eyes - which probably don't get much use, as they spend most their lives burrowing underground. Caecilians are unusual for amphibians in that 75% of them give birth to live young, oftentimes, fully formed. There are also a few species where the mother actually grows a layer of nutritious, fatty skin that is eaten off by her own young, which is analogous to breastfeeding in mammals.