Animal of the day – 12/03/2010 – The Axolotl

The Axolotl

The animal of the day is the Axolotl aka the Mexican Walking Fish. (Did you know: It’s not a fish! It’s a salamader! Unlike most amphibians, the axolotl doesn’t undergo a full metamorphasis into adult hood, so the adults still have the gills that they developed as young (This process is known as neoteny).

The feature of the salamander that attracts most attention is its healing ability: the axolotl does not heal by scarring and is capable of the regeneration of entire lost appendages in a period of months, and, in certain cases, more vital structures. Some have indeed been found restoring the less vital parts of their brains. They can also readily accept transplants from other individuals, including eyes and parts of the brain—restoring these alien organs to full functionality. In some cases, axolotls have been known to repair a damaged limb as well as regenerating an additional one, ending up with an extra appendage that makes them attractive to pet owners as a novelty. In metamorphosed individuals, however, the ability to regenerate is greatly diminished. The axolotl is therefore used as a model for the development of limbs in vertebrates.


3 thoughts on “Animal of the day – 12/03/2010 – The Axolotl

  1. Humans argue over politics. Meanwhile, the Axolotl are dying out.
    Lake Xochimilco outside of Mexico City, Mexico —   
    The Axolotl is an aquatic salamander that never grows out of the
    tadpole state. It is native to Lake Xochimilco. This animal can not be
    found in the wild anyplace else on Earth. According to scientists,
    there are only about 1200 left. They are becoming extinced in the wild
    because of foreign fish that were introduced to the lake, back in the
    1970’s. Now the local human population is dependent on the fishing
    industry surrounding the lake.
    These critters need to be preserved and transplanted to another lake
    similar to their natural habitat. Meanwhile, we need to figure out how
    they reproduce cut off limbs.

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