Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Mexico City's "Walking Fish", Axolotls

BBC: Megan Frye

For some, axolotls are considered adorable, with the appearance of a perpetual smile (Credit: Credit: Minden Pictures/Alamy)
Photo: BBC
Axolotls (ah-show-LOW-tls) are curious amphibians that offer hope for healing the human body, but face near extinction in the wild. They have remarkable regeneration abilities, being able to regrow lost body parts, including even eyes. Though gaining traction as a symbol of Mexico City, and specifically of the southern borough of Xochimilco, a Unesco World Heritage site, they are nearly extinct in the wild due to increases in invasive fish species and water pollution in the city’s troubled canals.  
MCA Note: We don't usually publish links to otherwised published articles about Mexico City, but this one is both delightful and of serious interest beyond the intriguing nature of the animal. 
There are seventeen species of axolotls, found primarily in the states of Mexico, Puebla and Michoacán, many critically endangered. Some species transform themselves into earth-walking salamanders by losing their tadpole-like tails and gills from their heads. However, this too depends on the environment. Where their waters are devoid of predators, they remain eternal teenagers. Never transforming into salamanders, such axolotls will keep the external gills they developed as a larva and live their entire life underwater. Read full article