Home to two specific lakes within the Valley of Mexico, an Axolotl (also referred to as the Mexican walking fish) is an Amphibian species that can easily be mistaken for as a fish. It’s odd-like appearance, and near-extinction status certainly makes you wonder- what exactly is so “cool” about this species and it’s many morphs?
A Melanoid Axolotl, for example, has unique differences to other morphs, despite originating from the same species. What makes a Melanoid Axolotl different to its pairs is its dark-pigmented colored body. They’re often a solid black color and produce little to no shine or light pigmentations, including no golden speckles. Aside from color, however, Melanoid Axolotls look no different (appearance wise) than any other Axolotl morph.
Despite the lack of knowledge within the community about the existence of a Melanoid Axolotls, it goes without saying that becoming a proud owner of one could completely change your perception of owning any other species again! Their calm temperament, easy-going nature, and minimal care requirements certainly make them a significant potential in the future pet department. Continue reading to discover more cool facts about the Melanoid Axolotl.
List of 15 Cool Melanoid Axolotl Facts
Once you start learning about Axolotls, you’ll quickly find yourself absorbed in awesome knowledge and fun facts about the species. Find below a list of 15 cool Melanoid Axolotl facts, which we believe will blow your mind!
1. They’re an Endangered Species
Unfortunately, there are a few reasons why Melanoid Axolotls are an extremely endangered species.
To begin, since Mexico City became more urbanized and their water pollution dangers increased, the majority of the Axolotl population viscously decreased.
It was also with no thanks to additional invasive species that continued to hunt easy-prey, such as the Melanoid Axolotls, amongst an already critical ordeal.
For these reasons, Axolotls are still a considerably endangered species, and their conservation status has yet to change until a change becomes implemented.
2. Dark in Color, But For a Reason
Unlike many Axolotl morphs, the Axolotl species are commonly known for their colorful bodies with speckles of golden light that peak through their skin. For a Melanoid Axolotl morph, however, their dark-pigmented body will never see an inch of shine, as they overly produce an unusual amount of melanophores.
For this reason, Melanoid Axolotls are dark in color, and for a real purpose- not because they’ve become “bait to a botched breeders experiment,” but because they genuinely don’t develop golden or light-speckled flecks throughout their bodies.
They darken further with age- which is a common reason why both a Melanoid morph and Wildetype morph can be easily mistaken for one another. Despite their differences, however, they still make as an intriguing species- dark in color and all!
3. Easy-going Care Requirements
Although they’re not everybody’s first option to own as a pet, Melanoid Axolotls uphold fairly easy-going care requirements, making them ideal pets for people of all ages!
Forget ordinary cats, dogs, or other animals as a pet- Melanoid Axolotls are just as easy (possibly easier) to be cared for. With minimal effort, their minimum housing, a straight-forward diet, and controllable heating needs- most people appreciate these creatures more.
As long as you maintain adequate heating within their terrarium, Melanoid Axolotls can make the ideal companion (that you didn’t even know existed.)
4. Aztec People Eat Axolotls
Melanoid Axolotls constitute a significant source of food for the Aztec people. An Axolotl has a “fish-tasting flavor, but with more crunch,” which makes them an ideal food option, especially in an Aztec diet.
While they are regularly devoured (despite their conservation status), there’s no denying that they’re harmless for the consumption of humans and our bodies.
5. They’re Becoming Popular as Pets
For some, Melanoid Axolotls are deemed as pets (instead of just a “thing of the wild.”)
They’re becoming incredibly popular within the Amphibian and Reptile community, due to their variation of colors and morphs, as well as their easy-going care requirements.
Some breeders also enjoy creating combo morphs, which ultimately means mixing one morph with another to develop a new and rare combination. Doing so, however, requires dedicated breeders to care for multiple Axolotls at once, eventually selling them as pets to high-paying customers.
6. Commonly Mistaken as a Fish- But They’re Not
Don’t be fooled, the Mexican walking fish (Melanoid Axolotls) isn’t actually a fish but an Amphibian, despite the commonality of its name. It’s easy to see why Melanoid Axolotls are commonly mistaken as a fish, however, due to their similar appearance and underwater abilities.
7. They’re Viewed as “Food” In Mexico
Although they’re native to the lakes within the Valley of Mexico, Melanoid Axolotls are commonly sought and sold as food in exchange for profit. The Axolotl-food exchange is often found in local Mexican markets, with no current rules in place despite their endangered conservation status.
8. Melanoid Axolotls are Primarily Carnivores
The diet of a Melanoid Axolotl is straight-forward, meaning if you’re thinking about becoming an owner of one- you’re in luck. Melanoid Axolotls are carnivores, or in other words, meat-eaters.
In the wild or during captivity, they feed on a variety of food. Such foods include:
- Feeder fish
- Small pieces of beef or liver
9. They Can Renew Their Limbs
The decade long study behind how Axolotls can renew their limbs is forever questionable. Their regeneration of body parts such as jaws, tail, skin, spinal cord, etc. is truly mind-boggling and has been the central question upon scientists for a long-time.
Axolotl species, including the Melanoid Axolotl, possess a unique ability to renew their limbs, multiple times throughout their 15-year long lifespan. The reason behind this phenomenon is still unclear; however, one thing’s for sure- it’s EPIC!
10. Metamorphosis Doesn’t Occur Within a Melanoid Axolotl
Considered a rarity amongst Amphibian species, Melanoid Axolotls skip the metamorphosis phase entirely and the reason is still unclear. Unlike most amphibians that physically begin developing from birth, Melanoid Axolotls hatch as juveniles, altogether skipping the hatchling/young stage entirely.
11. They Develop Lungs and Gills
Unlike most Amphibians, the Axolotl species uniquely develop both lungs and gills! This weird yet cool phenomenon occurs once they reach adulthood continue to WOW Amphibian lovers to this day.
Melanoid Axolotls primarily use their gills for breathing; however, they’ll happily resort to using their lungs whenever they feel like it, or if water-levels become unusually low. For this reason, they’re primarily found in the water and rarely on land.
12. Scientists Have Found a Way To Manipulate Their Growth
Previous experiments undergone by scientists have found a way to increase these water-loving creatures’ development through iodine consumption. When Melanoid Axolotls are provided a shot of iodine, a charge of hormones jolts them abruptly enough to cause sudden maturation.
Despite the fascination and genuine curiosity that can come with manipulating their growth, many believe that doing so is cruel and inhumane. They believe the effects which manipulating their growth may cause in their biology is unknown, and shouldn’t be ours to decide.
13. Most Eggs Develop or are Reabsorbed If Not Fertilized
It’s extremely rare for a female Melanoid Axolotl to lay undeveloped or infertile eggs, let alone leave it unattended long enough for it to develop mold.. (as some websites happen to be misinforming people.) When it’s time for a Melanoid Axolotl to lay, she’ll (90% of the time) hatch developed eggs, and if they’re not fertilized for some reason, they’ll eventually be reabsorbed naturally.
14. Bowel Obstructions are Their Common Cause of Death
Found from a study by the University of Manitoba, Canada- it has been concluded that the common cause of death within Axolotls is due to bowel obstructions.
Bowel obstructions are caused by Axolotls ingesting foreign objects, usually larger than 3cms (which is the recommended size of food for their body.) Foreign objects also include foreign bedding particles, often linked to decor and flooring used within terrariums during captivity.
Gravel is, and stone-like objects are a great example of an object being too big for their digestive tract. Thus, it’s recommended never to provide anything that isn’t suitable for their body.
15. They Darken Further With Age
If you thought that a Melanoid Axolotl couldn’t get darker than what they already are- you stand corrected. Melanoid Axolotls continue to darken further with age, appearing to have a solid black-colored body.
They’re also often mistaken to be a Wildtype Axolotl, which is another common Axolotl morph. The reason behind this mistake is because some Wildtypes can naturally develop into a solid black color, and they, too, also further darken with age.