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The ‘Smiling’ Axolotl Is the Cutest Amphibian Ever!

The axolotl is one of the most fascinating creatures around — but it’s in danger of being extinct.

The axolotl is a very interesting animal that’s native to Mexico. Its habitat has been identified as Lake Xochimilco near Mexico City.

The animal’s unique look alone stops people in their tracks. As a matter of fact, it’s been tagged as the “Mexican Walking Fish” despite the fact that it is not actually a fish but an amphibian.

The axolotl can grow from 6 to 18 inches.

Indeed, the axolotl — to be specific — is a salamander. They easily get people’s attention because they look like they’re smiling all the time.

These axolotls are distinct from other amphibians because they do not go through metamorphosis in order to be sexually mature.

A female salamander can lay as many as 1,000 eggs.

Moreover, axolotls don’t develop lungs. Their gills are prominent and they remain aquatic. This is the reason why so many people initially assume that they’re a kind of fish.

Those branch-like extensions are its gills.

Likewise, axolotls have the awesome ability to regenerate. Studies show that aside from being able to regenerate their limbs, the creature is also able to regenerate its jaw, spine, and brain.


In a Scientific American feature, Professor Stephane Roy of University of Montreal was quoted as saying:

“You can cut the spinal cord, crush it, remove a segment, and it will regenerate. You can cut the limbs at any level—the wrist, the elbow, the upper arm — and it will regenerate, and it’s perfect. There is nothing missing, there’s no scarring on the skin at the site of amputation, every tissue is replaced. They can regenerate the same limb 50, 60, 100 times. And every time: perfect.”

Move over, Wolverine! It has regenerating powers, too.

Aside from their awesome abilities, they have their unique look as an advantage.

As Axolotl.org explains:

“Axolotls of various colors occur in captivity, including gray, shades of brown, leucistic (white with black eyes), golden albino, white albino, as well as other varieties.”

Meanwhile, axolotls that live in the wild are nearly black, rich brown, cream-colored, or any shade in between.

Their colors vary, but the smile is the same.

Among the axolotl variants, it is, perhaps, the leucistic type that has gotten the most attention because it looks so quirky. Because of its color, its “smile” stands out.

A testimony to the creature’s cuteness is the fact that there’s a Pokemon character modeled after it — the Mudkip.

Cuteness validated: It's now immortalized in pop culture.

Unfortunately, the axolotl has been classified as a critically-endangered animal.

Environmental groups report that the number of axolotls has decreased alarmingly due to land drainage and the growth of Mexico City. Moreover, some locals still view axolotls as a delicacy. In other words, it doesn’t matter how many eggs the females can produce. The current environmental challenges are just not conducive enough for all her offspring to survive.

It would be a shame if this creature disappears forever.

Source: Izismile

For now, the hope for the axolotls’ survival seems to be captivity. Scientists raise them for research, as they want to study their regeneration process more closely.

Watch the video and observe the axolotl in action.

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Meanwhile, there are efforts being made to rehabilitate the axolotls’ natural habitat. In time, some captive creatures may be reintroduced to the wild so their population can increase once more.

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Animals

‘World’s Loneliest Bird’ Found Dead Next to Concrete Bird He Wooed for Years

RIP, Nigel the gannet.

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For years, the 'world's loneliest bird' persevered to woo his rather stone-cold love interest. Nigel, a gannet, showed up on Mana Island in New Zealand in 2015, where he met the apple of his eye. The only problem was that his potential mate was made of concrete.

Some 20 years ago, conservationists in New Zealand planted 80 fake gannet birds on the island as part of their efforts to attract real gannets. Nigel was the only one to show up after many years, and he was the first gannet to make Mana his home in 40 years.

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Animals

10 Of The World’s Most Fascinating Yet Disturbing Bugs

They must be aliens sent from outer space.

Insects are among the most fascinating yet frightening creatures in the world. It's either you hate them or you'll love them enough to appreciate them and be in awe of their unique characteristics.

But beyond the usual bugs that you see at home or in your garden, there are more that are somehow creepy but captivating at the same time. Below is a list of some of the most disturbing insects found around the world.

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Animals

Rare Walking Fish With Hands Discovered Off Tasmanian Coast

The red handfish is not a good swimmer, so it walks on the seabed.

Every now and then, rare and weird creatures from across the globe make grand appearances. Scientists discover rare species one after another. Now, a team of divers has discovered a small population of fish that "walk" along the seabed off Australia's south coast in Tasmania.

What's weird is that this rare fish population has finger-like fins that help them walk across the surface of the ocean. Dubbed as the Red Handfish (Thymichthys politus), this is one of the rarest fish species in the world.

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