What Is An Axolotl? A Complete Guide

Estimated read time 5 min read

The animal kingdom is impressive in every way. There are so many varieties of animals in the world. Each of these animal species differs from one another in many ways. It could be in appearance, habitat, dietary habits, etc.

There are also animals with unique features. This article will find out about a weird type of animal that you may not have even heard of. The axolotl is a fantastic creature on its own.

Read on to learn more about this unique animal and prepare to be amazed by the facts you get to know.


What Is An Axolotl?

The axolotl is an amphibian that is sometimes confused as being a fish. To be precise, axolotls are a type of salamander species. It is one of the few creatures that has retained its juvenile features into adulthood.

Axolotl is sometimes referred to as “the walking fish.” It is mainly because axolotls look like fish and live in water.

Axolotl Fast Facts

If you are looking for some important information on axolotls that you need to know quickly, here are a few fast facts on these unique species.

  • Common name: Axolotl
  • Scientific name: Ambystoma mexicanum
  • Class: Amphibian
  • Average life span: 10 – 15 years
  • Diet: Carnivore
  • Color: A combination of black, brown, green, pink, and white
  • Size: Can grow up to 12 inches in length
  • Weight: 2.11 to 8 ounces

Fun facts:

  • Newly hatched axolotls might sometimes eat their siblings’ limbs. These limbs grow back, of course.
  • “Axolotls” translates to “water monster” in the Aztec language.

How Does An Axolotl Look Like

An axolotl has unique features in that it has retained its larval features into adulthood. In addition, it has external gills, which is why it is sometimes mistaken to be a type of fish.

Axolotls can grow up to 12 inches in length and have a combination of colors, including black, brown, green, pinks, and white. It has a prominent long tail but small limbs. Axolotl’s fin extends from its head up to its tail.

Axolotls have wide heads. They can move at lightning speed of up to 10mph.

What Sets Axolotls Apart From Other Salamander Species

By looking at them, sometimes It’s hard to say that axolotls are in the same subset as salamanders in the Amphibian class. Axolotls differ from other salamander species like olms, newts, and fire salamanders.

Below are the differences you can expect to see.

  • Axolotls are much larger than other salamander species.
  • Axolotls live permanently in water, unlike other salamanders that can also live on land.
  • Axolotls are native to Mexico, whereas other salamander species can be found elsewhere.

Where Are Axolotls Found

Axolotls are native to Mexico. They are exclusively found in Lake Xochimilco, situated close to Mexico City. This lake comprises many canals and waterways that go through the capital city of Mexico.

Axolotls have adapted quite well to their native habitat. For example, these creatures can survive in a high-altitude body of water with an average temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius, even during winter.

This amphibian species is an integral part of Mexican culture. These creatures are believed to be an embodiment of an Aztec god. This god himself is believed to have disguised himself as a salamander to avoid sacrifice.

Are Axolotls Considered Endangered?

Axolotls are a threatened species considered to be endangered. Their numbers are sharply declining, and they are at threat of going extinct very soon. Many reasons are contributing to the sharp decline of their numbers.

  • Water pollution levels in Mexico City
  • Habitat loss due to the fast development of Mexico City
  • Overfishing in the Mexican waterways
  • Invasive species that have brought axolotls down the food chain. Historically, axolotls were at the top of the food chain, but now it has changed.

Are Axolotls Good As Pets?

After getting to know about this unique species of amphibians, you might be interested in having it in your own home. You might wonder if axolotls make good pets.

Axolotls are sought after by aquarists worldwide due to their quirky features. They are friendly and interactive aquatic pets that prove to be exciting.

Axolotls can serve as great pets for many years if you take proper care. These species are easy to care for once they are adequately housed and fed. They feed on a high-protein diet, including bloodworms and earthworms.

If you are interested in knowing more about various animals as pets, check out ipetguides.com. It provides detailed guidelines on caring for different types of pets.


Axolotls are exciting creatures with unique features. They can only be found in a particular part of the world, making them even more special and in demand. Axolotls can be excellent pets if you take good care of them.

However, the sharp decline in axolotl numbers makes us wonder how long we can see this unique animal species.

I hope this article gives you an in-depth view of axolotls, their habitat, and how they serve as pets.


Is An Axolotl A Fish Or An Amphibian?

An axolotl is a unique type of amphibian that permanently lives in water. Therefore, these creatures are often mistaken to be fish. Axolotls are “Mexican walking fish” or “the walking fish.”

Do Axolotls Bite?

Axolotls do bite everything that is in their vicinity. However, their teeth are too tiny to cause a lot of pain when bitten. Therefore, axolotls don’t cause any harm to humans and most other animals larger than them.

Can Axolotls Grow New Arms And Legs?

Regeneration of limbs is common among amphibian species. However, axolotls can regrow not only limbs but also the heart, brain, and spinal cord, which makes the regeneration masters.

Is It Alright To Touch An Axolotl With My Hands?

Axolotl’s skin is very delicate. Touching an axolotl can damage its coat which makes it vulnerable to infections. If you need to touch one, like putting it into a container, you should do it quickly and gently.

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