10 Interesting Facts About Axolotls

Did you know that axolotls never age because they don’t go through metamorphosis?

Axolotls are intriguing creatures that have captured the attention of people worldwide and have become a popular choice as pets.

They originate from Mexico and have been bred in captivity for many years.

Their happy smile and never-aging appearance have made them globally recognized and loved for many reasons.

Have you ever wondered why these quirky amphibians are so fascinating?

Here are ten fascinating facts about axolotls that will make you want one as a pet.

Axolotls Are Native to One Place in the World.

Axolotls can only be found in Mexico City in two high-altitude lakes, but due to flooding, they can only be found in the wild in one of them, Lake Xochimilco in southern Mexico City.

Their numbers are decreasing due to the introduction of predatory carp and tilapia.

Axolotls Never Show Signs of Aging!

Axolotls are part of the salamander family, but unlike all other salamanders, they don’t undergo metamorphosis.

Axolotls never outgrow their larval stage, and this is called neoteny.

Axolotls Are Carnivores.

Axolotls feed on crustaceans, worms, small fish, and insects.

They suck their prey through their smile, almost like a vacuum.

Axolotls never grow teeth, so everything has to be filtered through their smile.

Axolotls will eat anything, regardless of whether it is dead or alive.

Young axolotls have been known to be cannibalistic and eat the limbs of their fellow species.

Axolotls Come in a Variety of Colors.

Most axolotls we see online or in pet stores are white with pinkish features, but in the wild, they can be brown or black with olive green or gold patterns.

The lighter-colored axolotls that we are more familiar with are bred to be this way, such as the albino, pink, and leucitic species, which have reduced pigmentation in their skin.

These traits are rarely found in axolotls in the wild.

Axolotls Were First Brought to Europe in 1864.

Axolotls originated in Mexico, but they have since become a global phenomenon.

They were first taken to Paris in 1864, where the pet trade for these creatures began.

The first exports were for laboratory use to study their ability not to undergo metamorphosis. But during this process, they thrived in captivity, where the potential for the pet trade began.

They bred well and fascinated people, so they became a widespread curiosity to add to an aquarium.

Finding a Mate Involves Dancing.

The axolotl is a fascinating creature with various unique qualities. When they reach sexual maturity at one year old, they look for a mate during their mating season in February. During courtship, the male performs a dance called the ‘hula’ dance by shaking his tail and lower body. If a female is interested, she will begin to nudge him with her snout. Like other amphibians, axolotls can regenerate new limbs and tails, but what makes them different is that they can also regenerate their jaws, skin, spinal cords, and organs. This rare capability has intrigued scientists for years, and research has been conducted to understand it.

According to Aztec legend, the axolotl is the god of fire and lightning, Xolotl, in disguise to hide from being sacrificed. Axolotls have been around for millions of years and are regularly depicted in Aztec culture. However, they are now an endangered species primarily due to the loss of natural habitat. As of 2022, there are only between 700-1,200 left in the wild, and they are found only in two lakes in Mexico City. The Mexican government is working on restoring their natural habitat in freshwater and creating ecotourism sites where tourists can observe these natural wonders.

Although admired for their unique qualities, owning an axolotl as a pet is illegal in some states of the US and Canadian provinces due to the risk of them entering the wild and potentially damaging the environment. Instead, they continue to thrive in captivity. If you have the chance to visit an aquarium, take a look at these curious creatures and appreciate their fascinating qualities.


1. What is an Axolotl?

An Axolotl is a unique type of salamander that never goes through metamorphosis. This means that it retains its juvenile form throughout its entire life. It is also known as the Mexican Walking Fish.

2. What do Axolotls look like?

Axolotls have a distinctive appearance with a wide, flat head and frilly gills. They come in a variety of colors, including black, white, grey, and even pink.

3. Can Axolotls regenerate their limbs?

Yes, Axolotls have an incredible ability to regenerate their limbs. They can regrow not only their legs but also their spinal cords, hearts, and other organs.

4. What do Axolotls eat?

Axolotls are carnivorous and primarily eat small fish, worms, and insects. They have a unique hunting style where they suck in their prey with a vacuum-like motion.

5. Where do Axolotls live?

Axolotls are native to the lakes and canals of Mexico City. They prefer cool, slow-moving water and are often found hiding in vegetation or under rocks.

6. What is the lifespan of an Axolotl?

Axolotls can live up to 15 years in captivity. However, in the wild, they are considered critically endangered due to habitat loss and pollution.

7. Are Axolotls popular as pets?

Axolotls are becoming increasingly popular as pets due to their unique appearance and ease of care. However, it is important to note that they require specific water conditions and should only be kept by experienced owners.

8. What is the purpose of Axolotls in scientific research?

Axolotls have the ability to regenerate their limbs and organs, which makes them valuable for scientific research. Scientists study them to better understand the process of tissue and organ regeneration.

9. Are Axolotls at risk of extinction?

Yes, Axolotls are considered critically endangered in the wild due to habitat destruction and water pollution. Conservation efforts are underway to protect their remaining populations.

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