Axolotl: 7 interesting facts about the voracious larva
1. Axolotl is a larva of some species of ambistos. The larva is neotenic, which means that already at this stage the body becomes capable of reproduction. In turn, ambistomes are a genus of amphibians, which includes 32 species. These creatures can be found in North and Central America.
2. The larva of the land ambistome - a rather large creature - reaches 30 cm in length . And they live an amazingly long time - 10-15 years in captivity; however, they weigh a little - about 300 grams.
3. Axolotl attracted the attention of scientists, and all thanks to the ability to grow new limbs and even parts of the body, including the spine and part of the brain. Sometimes a hungry larva can bite off part of the flesh of a fellow, but a severed leg for axolotl is not a problem. Researchers hope that this unique creature will help humanity make new discoveries in medicine.
4. As you might have guessed, axolotls are predators, like all larvae of tailed amphibians. They feed on worms, snails, crustaceans, fish and amphibians. Their eyes are positioned so that the axolotl can’t notice the prey “from below”.
5. If you move the axolotl to a drier environment or lower the water level in the aquarium, with the right approach, it turns into an amphibian. Another way to induce conversion is to add the hormone thyroxine to your food. It gradually occurs over several weeks, while the external gills of the axolotl disappear, the color and shape of the body change. But, as a rule, amateur attempts to turn the axolotl into an amphibian end in the death of a larva.
6. Once upon a time, axolotl was food for humans : locals considered it a delicacy. The larvae were eaten in pure form and served with corn tortillas. But today, axolotl is officially under threat of complete extinction. They say that axolotl tastes like white meat of fish.
7. In the literal translation into Russian, the axolotl is “a water monster”, and there is no arguing with it: a larva with small eyes and a wide, “always smiling” mouth is not a sight for everyone. However, some wildlife enthusiasts purchase axolotls and keep them in the aquarium. Due to pollution of water resources in the natural environment of these creatures, very few remain.