Hello, today I am going to write about the “Axolotl”.

The Axolotl (also known as the Mexican Walking Fish or Mexican Salamander), is a neotenic Salamander closely related to the tiger salamander. Although the axolotl is colloquially known as a walking fish, it is not a fish, but an amphibian. The species originates from numerous lakes, such as Lake Xochimilco underlying Mexico City.

Regeneration: The feature of the salamander that attracts most attention is its healing ability: the axolotl does not heal by scarring and is capable of the regeneration of entire lost appendages in a period of months, and, in certain cases, more vital structures. Some have indeed been found restoring the less vital parts of their brains. They can also readily accept transplants from other individuals, including eyes and parts of the brain, restoring these alien organs to full functionality.

Genome: The 32 billion base pair long sequence of the axolotl’s genome was published in 2018 and is the largest animal genome completed so far. It revealed species-specific gene pathways that may be responsible for limb regeneration. Although the axolotl genome is about 10 times as large as the human genome, it encodes a similar number of proteins, namely 23,251 (the human genome encodes about 20,000 proteins).

Neoteny: Axolotls exhibit neoteny, meaning that they reach sexual maturity without undergoing metamorphosis. Many species within the axolotl’s genus are either entirely neotenic or have neotenic populations. In the axolotl, metamorphic failure is caused by a lack of thyroid stimulating hormone, which is used to induce the thyroid to produce thyroxine in transforming salamanders.

This is the end of my blog, hope you enjoyed!


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