axolotl

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axolotl

(ăk`səlŏt'əl), a salamandersalamander,
an amphibian of the order Urodela, or Caudata. Salamanders have tails and small, weak limbs; superficially they resemble the unrelated lizards (which are reptiles), but they are easily distinguished by their lack of scales and claws, and by their moist, usually
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, Ambystoma mexicanum, found in certain lakes in the region of Mexico City, which reaches reproductive maturity without losing its larval characteristics. This phenomenon is called neotenyneoteny
, in biology, sexual maturity reached in the larval stage of some animals. Certain environmental conditions can inhibit the completion of metamorphosis; low temperature or lack of available iodine retard the action of the thyroid gland, the larval form may mature
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; in salamanders it is apparently caused by certain environmental conditions, particularly a low level of iodine in the water, which affects the functioning of the thyroid gland. The axolotl grows larger than ordinary larval salamanders and develops sexually, but it retains bushy external gills and a well-developed tail. It also has a broad head and stubby legs; its skin is a black-speckled dark brown. Permanently aquatic, never undergoing metamorphosis to a terrestrial form characteristic of amphibiansamphibian,
in zoology, cold-blooded vertebrate animal of the class Amphibia. There are three living orders of amphibians: the frogs and toads (order Anura, or Salientia), the salamanders and newts (order Urodela, or Caudata), and the caecilians, or limbless amphibians (order
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, it may grow as long as 13 in. (33 cm). It is also known as the Mexican walking fish because of its appearance.

The axolotl was not recognized as a salamander until 1865, when several specimens at the Jardin des Plantes in Paris suddenly underwent metamorphosis. After some experimentation it was discovered that when their pools were dried up most of the animals changed into the adult form. Axolotls will also mature normally if fed thyroid gland extract. The related North American tiger salamander, A. tigrinum, often exhibits neoteny in the Rocky Mts., where the iodine content of the water is low. Since the late 1990s the axolotl has become increasingly endangered in its natural habitat due to pollution and competition from introduced fish.

The axolotl is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Amphibia, order Urodela, family Ambystomidae.

axolotl

[¦ak·sə¦läd·əl]
(vertebrate zoology)
The neotenous larva of some salamanders in the family Ambystomidae.

axolotl

1. any of several aquatic salamanders of the North American genus Ambystoma, esp A. mexicanum (Mexican axolotl), in which the larval form (including external gills) is retained throughout life under natural conditions (see neoteny): family Ambystomidae
2. any of various other North American salamanders in which neoteny occurs or is induced
References in periodicals archive ?
Axolotls are fully grown by age 2 and range in length from 6 to 18 inches.
In the public HIE solution space, Axolotl (OptumInsight) Elysium Exchange receives a performance score of 83.
This explains why newts (salamanders) look so much like lizards (reptiles), and since mammals evolved directly from reptiles it makes sense that the genetic mechanisms controlling embryo development remain largely unchanged from axolotls to humans.
The axolotl is in danger of extinction in its native environment, but an effort to revive a green space in the city may help to improve its prospects.
The brightly coloured poison arrow frogs look like living jewels while the giant toads and axolotls are more like something out of a science fiction film.
If given a thyroid hormone or sometimes when simply kept as pets in aquariums, axolotls will metamorphose into adults.
The axolotl takes its name from the Aztec god of games, monstrosities, the dead and resurrected.
The Mexican salamanders called axolotls, a favorite of some scientists studying regeneration, apparently earned their name from Xolotl, one of the Aztecs' many gods.
We hypothesized that Atrazine exposure may cause developmental and morphological anomalies in the treated Axolotls.
Macauley Dell, aged 14, from West Bromwich, handed over the axolotl, a Mexican amphibian, to Dudley Zoo.