The axolotl is one of the weirdest and most unusual salamander species. Popularly (but inaccurately) known as the Mexican walking fish, this amphibian won the hearts of people all over the globe. But how much do you know about this adorable creature? In this article, you will find interesting facts about axolotl size and features.
When they hatch, baby axolotls are about 0.5 inches (11mm) long. At first, they usually grow about an inch per month. The size of a fully grown axolotl can vary from 6 to 18 inches (15–45 cm). Yet, it seems that the average size is around 9–10 inches (23–25 cm).
An adult axolotl can weigh anywhere between 0.13 and 0.5 lbs (60–225 gr). However, they reach up to 1.1 lbs (0.5kg) in captivity. So, if you want to keep one as a pet, be prepared to invest in a bigger aquarium.
Axolotls reach their full size at 18 to 24 months of age. Their growth rate on factors such as water temperature and diet. A good rule of thumb is that the adult axolotl’s head should be as wide as its body.
We should also mention that there are some differences between male and female axolotls. Females will usually have rounder bodies than males because of the eggs they have to carry. Also, male axolotls will often have a more stretched body with a longer tail.
The physical features of axolotls are similar to those of salamander larvae. These features include external gills, otherwise known as the cute ferny antennas on their head. The other feature common for all salamanders is a dorsal fin, commonly referred to as “the tail”. Axolotls are also known for their wide heads and lidless eyes.
Colors and Variations
Axolotls have four pigmentation genes. This trait leads to considerable differences in color. These differences have been further increased by their popularity as pets. Namely, new and unique axolotl types were created in labs to meet the popular demand. Axolotls will typically exhibit colors such as gray, olive, brown, white, pink, and blue.
Natural Habitat, Life Span, and Diet
Axolotls are fully aquatic species. In other words, they spend their whole life in water. More specifically, in lakes of the Valley of Mexico.
They can live up to 15 years, but the average life of an axolotl is around 10 years long.
Axolotls’ diet is purely meat-based yet flexible. Namely, in nature, they can eat anything from worms and insects to small fish and even other salamanders.
An interesting fact about axolotls is they can regenerate organs and lost limbs. They are also over a thousand times more resistant to cancer than mammals. These impressive features have made axolotl a sensation in the scientific world. Experts are hoping they will eventually harness their abilities to help humans.
We hope that you’ve learned something new about axolotl size and features. They are truly a gem of the amphibian world thanks to their rare and remarkable features. Not to mention the role they might have in fighting cancer and regenerating damaged organs. All in all, axolotls deserve both our interest and appreciation.