When I first saw this photo, I thought it must be a stuffed toy, not an animal or a fish.



It’s a salamander.  Besides its looks, it’s unusual in that it stays in its larval form, like a tadpole that never matures into a frog.  It never develops full lungs, retaining its gills and fins, so it lives under water.  The axolotl becomes sexually mature in the larval stage.


The axolotl can completely regrow a lost limb.

They are endangered in the wild because of habitat loss, but they are used in labs all over the world because of their ability to regenerate limbs and their embryos which are large and robust.

The only place on earth you can find them in the wild is at Lake Xochimilco in Mexico.

11 thoughts on “Axolotl

  1. How sad that a beautiful little creature like this lives in labs all over the world, and is tortured and has its embryos taken just because it can grow limbs back. It also greatly saddens me that its habitat loss has caused them to be endangered in the wild otherwise they wouldn’t have to endure human contact. Thank you for the pictures, but it was hard to read the decription.

  2. Yeah, how sad that our science is keeping bloodlines of an endangered species, so that if it goes extinct in the wild, its not truly dead. Oh, and its very sad that we could learn something from it.

  3. Yeah, I agree. How sad. I am glad that they still exist though. I wish people would step up and try to save these poor little guys. I’m doing a project in science on them!!

  4. it is sad but we can all help buying them from a shop means the shop can get more shipped in to sell i am getting one to help save the cute animal wish you all would to, but just remember don’t put more than one in a tank it might eat the other one which i another reason they are getting existent because they are eating each other and not breeding enough

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  6. Amazing .. creatures .. had never in my life seen or even knew what one was until a week ago .. Interested greatly as an animal and reptile lover, I googled them and found them here ..

    Science: Is not always kind .. But, In the long run look at the up-side .. One would rather see something in captivity rather than extinct … It is cruel what humanity has ruined it’s habbitat … Many things in life would no longer be around if not for science .. Cures .. to illnesses etc .. look at the wider picture .. Humanity as a whole ruined these beautiful creatures habbitat .. science is left picking up what they can .. 🙂 Cool photo’s thank you ..

  7. Buying an animal does *nothing* to save or help their species. Keeping them in captivity doesn’t help the species, the environment, or other species that depend upon them. If anything, purchasing reptiles, birds, fish and exotics (including small exotics like jirds, prairie dogs, gambian rats, etc.) is more likely to contribute to their extinction than save them from it, since it’s not uncommon for suppliers to steal these animals from their native habitats, transporting and/or smuggling them in rough conditions that result in many animals dying for you to buy one to keep in your home. Some suppliers also cause damage to the animals’ native habitat in order to acquire the animals to sell you, especially in the case of aquarium fish. When it comes to ordering animals through the mail, the conditions are no different than how any other piece of mail is handled, resulting in extremes in temperature, rough handling, delays that allow water and food to run out. It’s not uncommon for suppliers that sell to pet stores to throw in extra animals as “packing material” and to make up for the animals who die in transit. So you can see why I find it disturbing that several responders have come to the conclusion, reading the brief article above, that buying these animals as pets will in some way help the species (which, incidentally, the article does not claim), when it is far more likely to cause the destruction of a species to purchase them in stores, exotic animal “shows”, and via mail order. The only way to save a species is to save its environment and protect the species from our own destructive habits of killing them for sport, taste, or fashion, or stealing them for the pet trade, zoos, or entertainment.
    Science is vital, but scientists aren’t above the need for monitoring, review, and regulation to ensure that their experimentation is necessary, that these tests aren’t being repeated excessively or to try to sway the end results, that the tests use as few animals as possible and that it uses non-animal alternatives whenever possible (which isn’t being done a lot of the time it could be/should be. Animal tests in many cases are less reliable (and/or humane non-animal tests are just as effective or more reliable) but animals are used to save a buck for the corporations running the tests, humaneness be damned.) Science is important, but testing on a species to create a new product does not save the species from extinction. Keeping an animal in captivity with no reintroduction into their natural habitat (please don’t go dumping your pets outdoors. It is *not* the same thing.) combined with a reasonable plan for regrowth is really no different than keeping their cells in a test tube and having a video/books on display. Keeping them in a zoo or in a lab does not help, and zoos rarely ever reintroduce animals. If you are concerned about protecting the species, watch them on dvd, read about them in books, but don’t buy them or go see them deprived of their normal day-to-day activities in a zoo or show. Donate instead to organizations that protect these species * in their native habitat* and protect that habitat from poachers, pollution, hunting, pet industry mercenaries, companies tearing up their environment to obtain fuel, livestock grazing, or to gain access to land for mining, logging, hunting, and the like.

  8. It,s time to open the safes of DuPont Industrial Sciences to fix all the waste problems start first with the plastic poly this and that thing got to stop COM-ON PLEASE we ALL got TO work IT out , and FIX-IT !!!

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