I have always been fascinated by weird deep sea creatures, I have no idea how it came about. Some are strangely beautiful, others are weirdly grotesque. All of them seem out of this world. Aliens from the deep blue depths, almost as mysterious and unknown as the outer space. I always think there are other living beings in the universe, but since there has been no actual scientific sightings yet (what a bore), I shall just continue to marvel at what we have on Earth.
There are plenty of pictures featuring fascinating deep ocean creatures plastered all over the internet, but one particularly strikes my fancy. Axolotl, which is also known as water monster!
Axolotl is a special type of salamander which stays underwater all its life. They have pretty long lives, and can live up to 15 years. Despite being so long-lived, they retain the larvae form of a salamander all their lives, so that means they will always look like a cute thing right out from an anime, with its beady eyes and friendly smile.
Though it is named after an Aztec God, to me its name sounds kind of Pokemon-like. I fancy it to have some pretty bubble element power. And it does have some power actually, healing abilities, or more accurately, regenerative abilities! That’s right, an axolotl can re-grow an entire limb if it ever loses one.
Axolotl can be kept as a pet, and is said to be interactive and playful. Man, I kind of wish I have it as a pet.
However, this adorable creature is now critically endangered. Why has it become critically endangered? Firstly, its natural habitat is already limited by a number of factors, and secondly and most unfortunately, it is considered a delicacy in Mexico (nooo it’s too cute to be eaten!), causing its numbers to decline rapidly. Save these cute water monsters!
The axolotl has four main pigmentation genes, which combine to form a up to 18 types of colour combinations! The five basic colours are Wild, Pink (Leucistic), White albino, Golden and Melanoid. There are actually many more rarer combinations such as Copper and Chimera. But as it is a critically endangered species, so just being able to get your hands on one as a pet wouldn’t even be easy, much less the rare variation.
Wild type axolotls have a combination of black, green, brown and olive speckles all over their bodies. Their gills are usually grey or purple, and their bodies shine with patches of iridescence. Some wild types are very dark and may be mistaken as melanoid axolotl. One way to tell the difference is that wild types have a shiny ring around their pupils while melanoids don’t.
Pink (Also called Leucistic)
Leucistic axolotls, or more commonly known as pink axolotls, are the most popular amongst pet owners, and it is easy to see why, for they are also my favourite. Their otherworldly pale bodies and baby pink gills, and their little black eyes make them look absolutely adorable. Depending on the environment, some of them will grow a little pigmentation on their face and bodies.
There are two main types of abino, White albino and Golden.
White albinos look like pink axolotl, except for their eyes. They have deep pink, almost reddish gills and clear or pink eyes.
Golden albino axolotl is another one of my favourites. Golden axolotl has a golden yellow body with iridescent patches. Due to its lack of pigment, its eyes are usually clear, but can be reddish. Its gills can be the same colour as the body or slightly pinkish. Apparently, a golden axolotl when just born looks just like a white albino, so you will just have to wait and see if you are lucky enough to get a golden axolotl.
Essentially, melanoid axolotls have a large amount of dark pigmentation making them appear a solid black. Also, they lack shiny pigmentation so even their eyes are completely dark.