The axolotl’s ability to regenerate is amazing: if it loses a limb, it can regrow that part of its body.
of Mexico a museum and conservation center shedding light on the life of axolotl salamanders was opened in the capital, Mexico City, on January 21, reports news agency Reuters.
The purpose of the center located in Chapultepec Zoo is to share information about the life of perhaps the world’s most unique, but extremely endangered, amphibian.
In the wild, axolotls practically no longer live in the foothills of Mexico in Lake Xochimilco. Even this last habitat has dried up due to drainage and large fish live there, which twenty-centimeter-sized axolotls can fall prey to.
In Finland, you can meet axolotls, for example, at Korkeasaari Zoo in Helsinki. In terrarium conditions, these salamanders can live up to more than 20 years.
The vast majority of axolotls live as human pets and laboratory animals. Most terrarium and laboratory axolotls are actually descended from the 33 specimens brought to Paris in 1864, Korkeasaari tells.
Axolotl are exceptional organisms even in the wide scale of the animal kingdom. An adult axolotl has external gills on both sides of the head, thin skin and a fin-like tail, which are traditionally characteristics of a tadpole, says Korkeasaari.
In a way, the axolotl doesn’t grow up externally because it doesn’t get off the ground.
However, under certain conditions, axolotls may also develop into adult-like lung-breathing salamanders.
Also the axolotl’s ability to regenerate is astonishing: if a limb is detached from it, it can regrow that part of its body.
“They are one of the few animals that can regrow their skin, muscles, bones, blood vessels, nerves, heart and brain,” says the head of animal protection at Chapultepec Zoo Fernando Gual for Reuters.
According to Gual, the new museum’s exhibitions, workshops and laboratories are intended to promote environmental education.
The name axolotli refers to the fire god Xolotl, worshiped by the Aztecs, who could transform himself into an axolotl.
Correction 29.1. 9:50 p.m.: Contrary to what was said earlier in the article, axolotls cannot grow back their completely detached head, but only some of their body parts and, for example, their brains.