Scientific Name: Ambystoma Mexicanum
Colour: Black, White, Pink, Grey, Brown
Life Span: 10 - 20 years
Location: south-central Mexico
Predator: Birds, Fish
Prey: Worms, Insects, Molluscs
Size (L): 15cm - 45cm (6in - 18in)
Weight: 60g - 200g (2oz - 7oz)
Top Speed: 17km/h (10mph)
Habitat: High altitude freshwater lakes
The axolotl is a medium-sized amphibian that is only found in one complex of lakes that are close to Mexico City in south-central Mexico. The axolotl is today kept as a popular freshwater aquarium pet all around the world.
The axolotl is most closely related to the tiger salamander which inhabits the waters in a similar region of Mexico. However, axolotls can be easily distinguished from salamanders as the axolotl retains it's tadpole-like appearance for it's whole life, therefore axolotls and young tiger salamanders are easily confused.
The axolotl has a flat-shaped broad head that is much wider than the body of the axolotl. The axolotl also has feathery gills which protrude from either side of the head of the axolotl, allowing the axolotl to breath under water. As with newts and salamanders, axolotls are able to regenerate limbs that become damaged or detached meaning that axolotls have been extensively used in scientific experiments around the world.
The axolotl is most commonly found in albino form as they spend a great deal of their lives hiding under rocks and in crevices on the bottom of the lake. Although axolotls are generally white or pink in colour, black, grey and brown coloured axolotls can also be found.