cute axolotlimage credit: maria.apoleika, via Flickr


axolotlimage credit: speediene, via Flickr
axolotlimage credit:
axolotlimage credit:
Habitat: axolotl is only native to Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco in central Mexico
Status: Critically Endangered 

First off, before I begin with the Axolotl post, I’d like to point out that I will now be posting the status of each animal thanks to a great recommendation from Katja! It’s important to see just how many animals are threatened or endangered (or not!) for the sake of possibly saving some of these incredible species. The Axolotl is a Mexican neotenic mole salamander. The term “neotenic” refers to the fact that these salamanders reach sexual maturity without undergoing metamorphosis, as most other salamanders do. They are unable to transform due to a lack of thyroid stimulating hormone.

These happy-faced little creatures are a popular pet in the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Japan where they are sold under the name wooper looper. (haha!) Unfortunately, soon we might only be able to find these creatures in captivity, for their natural habitat is quickly being destroyed.

The only two places in the world where they are found, Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco, no longer provide suitable habitats for the axolotl. Lake Chalco no longer exists as it has been drained by humans to prevent periodic flooding and Lake Xochimilco is but a fraction of what it once was. Axolotls were also sold as food in Mexican markets and were a staple in the Aztec diet but now they are a protected species in Mexico.

An adorable creature with a very bleak future if something is not done to help save it.