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16 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About The Axolotl

Now you'll love them an axolotl.

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1. They're practically blind! Feeding them by hand "is essential for the axolotl to be able to see its food."

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2. Most axolotls are dark grey/green or black, but there are some white ones found in captivity. They can be traced back to a "mutant male that was shipped to Paris in 1863."

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3. Axolotl can reach about 12 inches in length and can weigh up to 8 pounds.

4. Axolotl display a condition called neoteny. This means they retain "larval features throughout its adult life," like the "tadpole-like dorsal fin and its feathery external gills."

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5. The word "axolotl" has many definitions, but the most popular are: "water dog," "water doll," "water slave" and "servant of the water."

6. During each mating season, females can lay up to 300 to 1,100 eggs.

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7. Axolotl are "solitary except during mating."

8. In 2008, axolotls were listed as critically endangered, as their wild population is dwindling.

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10. They're also bottom-dwellers; this protects them from some natural predators.

11. Axolotl baffle scientists, as they can "regenerate missing limbs, kidney, heart and lungs," which makes them highly studied.

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12. They can live up to 15 years in a cozy tank at home.

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13. The Aztec god, Xolotl, was believed to be "fearful of being killed, (so he) transformed into an axolotl to hide."

14. Due to their surrounding mysticism, they were onced used "in some Aztec medicines."

15. Axolotls are carnivorous! They can eat "tadpoles, soft insects, worms and even small fish but can also be fed small pieces of raw meat."

16. But the most important fact is how happy they always are to see you!

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