Sunday, 7 October 2012

Awesome Nature #12

Type: Amphibian Lives In: Mexico Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

I'd never heard of this unusual creature until very recently but was immediately captivated by its unique appearance. Although its name means 'Water Dog', and it has also earned the nickname of 'Mexican Walking Fish', it's actually a kind of salamander. Most reach a size of around 20-25cm in length and can be found in a variety of colours including grey, brown, black, and yellow, but I think you'll agree the kind pictured here is the most eye-catching! My dear wife thinks it 'looks like a demon' but it reminds me more of some wacky creature from a Studio Ghibli film or something. Whatever you may think of its looks, though, it may not be around much longer - the entire wild population was confined to two lakes near Mexico City but one of those has now been artificially drained (for the convenience of the humans living there, of course) so the poor old Axolotl now lives only in Lake Xochimilco, itself severely diminished from its former size. Their plight doesn't seem to bother this one though!

Why It Is Awesome: It looks very happy!


  1. Always loved these, and got two of them for my birthday this year! One of them ate the other about a month back, so now I've got one big fat axolotl. He seems happy.

    You can see the pair of them as babies on my blog - just click on the "Pets" tag on the side. The one I have left is twice the size as it is in the video!

  2. Blimey, I thought they only ate worms and stuff? (>_<) I had a look at your post, they look great! I fear these funny things will only exist as pets soon though...

  3. I can feed them on a lot of things - earthworms, bloodworms, liver, shrimps, beef, even small fish. They can't chew though, so it's only stuff that can be swallowed. So it's mostly frozen bloodworms for mine.

    What happened was one of them was eating more than the other, and the other must've died of weakness. The living one must've just thought it was more food, so ate its feet and a bit of its tail.