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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a Mole Salamander that spawns from the Chalco and Xochimilco lakes in Mexico. Lake Chalco has been drained, and Lake Xochimilco is now a system of canals, so natural Axolotls are considered endangered, although their larvae are often sold for pets, and mature Axolotls are sold as food in Mexico.

Axolotls are between 15 and 45 centimeters long at maturity, with lidless eyes and small limbs. They are amphibious, with external gills and tiny lungs. Their teeth are largely non-functional; they feed by Aquatic Suction, which allows them to ingest smaller organisms without chewing, but they do use their teeth to maneuver larger prey into their mouths. They are distinguished by four colors: brown and black natural, and pink and gold mutation. After hatching the Axolotl's skin is transparent while it generates pigment, and their legs do not grow for at least two weeks. The lifespan of a healthy Axolotl has been recorded up to fifteen years.

Axolotls have the ability to heal without scarring and can regenerate limbs quickly, as well as accepting and adapting transplanted organs from other species without rejection. Axolotls are bred in captivity for use in experimentation and are very popular pets around the world.

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