Fish or amphibian? Although the habitat of the axolotl is 100% aquatic, this peculiar animal belongs to the class of amphibians. However, we cannot deny that its appearance is confusing: it has a tail, fins and gills like a fish, but legs like an amphibian, which is why many call it the walking fish. It also has other characteristics that make it particularly unique, not only for the general public, but also for the scientific community.
Due to its extraordinary qualities, in this Green Ecologist post we will develop everything about the types of axolotls and their characteristics. We invite you to continue reading.
From any point of view, axolotls are extraordinary animals and these are some of their main characteristics:
If you wonder how many types of axolotls are there, the truth is that they exist 33 species of axolotls. In this section we will mention all the species and detail some of them.
Scientifically known as Ambystoma mexicanum, is the best known species of axolotl in Mexico. In wildlife, they have a dark coloration, with brown, green and gray tones that allow them to blend in with the environment. However, in captivity there are albino axolotls and other colors, originated by multiple selective crosses carried out to make them even more attractive for pets.
This species (Ambystoma rivulare), like the previous one, is endemic to Mexico, particularly to the rivers near the Nevado de Toluca volcano. It is characterized by being black with light spots and gray lips and belly area.
The axolotl of Alchichica (Ambystoma taylori) has a restricted distribution to the Alchichica lagoon, 2300 meters above sea level, in the state of Puebla, Mexico. It has a characteristic yellow coloration with black spots.
This species (Ambystoma amblycephalum), also endemic to Mexico, has a head twice as long as it is wide. Its coloration is dark with the presence of cream-colored spots along its body.
Next we will list the other species of axolotls:
If you got here, you will have noticed how fascinating this species is. To continue the topic, we will tell you some curiosities of the axolotls.
As we mentioned before, axolotls have an exclusively carnivorous diet. Specifically, they feed on mosquito larvae, tadpoles, worms, mollusks, crustaceans, insects and fish.
Amazingly, yes! They not only have the ability to regenerate their limbs, but also vital organs, such as the heart, brain, and spinal cord. Today the axolotl is considered to be the vertebrate animal with the greatest capacity for cell regeneration. This phenomenon has made the axolotl of great interest to science because its study could increase knowledge about the processes of tissue regeneration.
According to the Red Lists of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, axolotl species are critically endangered. The main causes that put the existence of the axolotl at risk are: the contamination of its habitat, the sale of its specimens as pets or for use in science and the introduction of exotic species into its environment. Currently, there are several environmental regulations in Mexico that aim to prevent the extinction of the axolotl.
Here you can learn more about why the Mexican axolotl is in danger of extinction.
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