Axolotls are peculiar looking amphibious creatures that originate from Mexico. They have a long history and have even been revered as far back as the ancient Aztecs who gave them their name as ‘the walking fish’ and the ‘water dog’.
The ancient Aztecs had a god called Xolotl and they get the name directly from him who was the god of fire, lightning, sickness and deformities.
Axolotls are currently only found in the wild in Lake Xochimilco in Mexico and they are on the endangered species list, mainly due to human interference more than because of their predators.
Axolotls have been at the top of the food chain in Lake Xochimilco for a long time i’m and the only have to worry about birds as Predators for a long time.
Storks are common predators they stand on top of the rocks and remains still so that the axolotls are unaware of their presence and then they suit down with a big beaks and eat the axolotls
Herons are also similar to storks, they have long beaks and they swoop down and pluck the axolotls out of the river.
Axolotls currently have a bit more to deal with in the world after the introduction of wild fish into their habitat.
Carp and tilapia are now one of the biggest threats to the axolotl population in the wild as they will eat the axolotl and they compete to eat the eggs as well.
How Do Axolotls Protect Themselves
Having been top of the food chain in their natural environment for so long, axis have not had any reason to develop defensive mechanisms and their soft skin and bodies make for an excellent and nutritious meal for their predators.
Axolotls have no defensive mechanisms and their larvae or eggs are also particularly vulnerable two carps and tilapia who now roam freely in their natural habitat
Despite the growing number of threats in their own habitat, humans have been one of the leading reasons for the decline in numbers of axolotls in the wild.
Axis Had been found in more than one Lake in previous times but as cities continued to expand especially around Mexico City these Lakes became more and more scarce.
Lake Chalco was another famous habitat of the axolotls but the lake was drained in 1970 to avoid flooding for the Residents.
Pollution is also partly to blame for their dwindling numbers and they are said to have a population of less than 1,200 in the wild today.
Axolotls have been eaten for centuries dating back to the ancient Aztecs who ate them for the high nutritional value and it also believed that they were directly descended from the gods and could bestow some blessings upon them. The practice of eating axolotls is continued to this day amazingly.
Catching Them For Sale
Axolotls only future, unfortunately, maybe in captivity as pets for humans. They are frequently caught in Mexico and shipped to the States where they are sold as pets.
They are also thoroughly bred in captivity and sold out as pets all around the USA in States where they are legal.
Axolotls are known to cannibalize each other especially in their youth, they will turn on each other, nip on each other skills and eventually kill each other. This is also a common occurrence in adult axolotls were one is bigger than the other and you will start in Nip on the smaller one skills. With that being said axolotls are their own predators as well.
Axolotls Come In Different Colours
Axolotls come in plenty of different colors, they can be dark grey, black and the most popular ones are the albinos which have a pink color and along with the other features making them a very attractive pet.
Axolotls facial features never grow past that of a juvenile meaning they are neotenic and they often have a smile on their face that makes them very distinctive and appealing, there are also relatively low-maintenance making them an ideal beginners pet.
What Do Axolotls Eat In The Wild
Axolotls themselves eat plenty of live food. They are carnivores and like a steady diet of meat. In the wild, they are typically had a varied diet as they’ve been able to eat anything in their path.
The favorite foods include live worms, earth worms, brown worms, fish pellets, salmon pellets, ghost shrimp and they can even eat little strips of chicken or beef.
They only need to eat two or 3 times per week and only live underwater making them ideal creatures for low-maintenance living.
Axolotls Eat Using Suction
Axolotls eat without chewing their food, they just open their mouth and it leads to a suction action of all the water around them including any potential food that’s in the water and they swallow the food whole.
They are bottom feeders and any substrate that goes in with the food helps to break it down in their bellies.
Axolotls will live 5 to 10 years in captivity and they make an excellent pet although you can’t take them out of the tank to touch them.
They require cold water that’s a mix between fresh and salt water and once you get this right and keep the water clean by cleaning it once every 2 months they should live a long and healthy life.