A cute amphibian species
The Axolotl is an amphibian, a salamander. It is a fascinating creature for a number of reasons, including its grotesque appearance, its ability to regenerate, and primarily the fact that it exhibits the phenomenon known as neoteny. Ordinarily, amphibians undergo metamorphosis from egg to larva (the tadpole in frogs is a larva), and finally to adult form. The Axolotl, along with a number of other amphibians, remains in its larval form throughout its life. This means that it retains its gills and fins, and it doesn't develop the protruding eyes, eyelids and characteristics of other adult salamanders. It grows much larger than a normal larval salamander, and it reaches sexual maturity in this larval stage. The animal is completely aquatic, and although it does possess rudimentary lungs, it breathes primarily through its gills and to a lesser extent, its skin. The only place on earth you can find one are at Lake Xochimilco in Mexico. The Axolotl is now on the endangered species list.
Source: Axolotl via BountyFishing
Tags: Salamanders | Amphibians | Axolotls