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Axolotl

This highly endangered amphibian is unusual because they reach adulthood without undergoing metamorphosis- instead of developing lungs and taking to land, the adults remain aquatic and gilled.

Native  to only Lake Xochimilco in central Mexico. As of 2010, wild axolotls were near extinction due to urbanization in Mexico City and consequent water pollution.

These amphibians can live up to 15 years of age, but average at about 10 years and range from 25-30cm (10 – 12 inches).

They are carnivorous consuming small prey such as worms, insects, and small fish in the wild. They locate food by smell, and will “snap” at any potential meal, sucking the food into their stomachs with vacuum force.

Also known as a “Mexican salamander” or a “Mexican walking fish”

Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate limbs.