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Ambystoma mexicanum
Conservation Status: 
Critically endangered
Central Mexico

Description: A freshwater aquatic amphibian, axolotls resemble the larval stages of many salamanders.

Diet: Worms, insects, fish

Additional Information: Axolotls are neotenic, meaning that they reproduce in their larval stage, and never undergo metamorphosis into the adult salamander stage. This trait is sometimes exhibited in other salamanders when resources are scarce, but is the natural life cycle for the axolotl. When axolotls are injured, instead of developing scar tissue, it reverts back to stem cells, allowing them to re-grow lost limbs.

The axolotl also known as a Mexican salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum) or a Mexican walking fish, is a neotenic salamander, closely related to the tiger salamander. Although the axolotl is colloquially known as a "walking fish", it is not a fish, but anamphibian. The species originates from numerous lakes, such as Lake Xochimilco underlying Mexico City. Axolotls are unusual among amphibians in that they reach adulthood without undergoing metamorphosis. Instead of developing lungs and taking to land, the adults remain aquatic and gilled.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Axolotls", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.