Albino Axolotl: Fugly Friday
This fugly little guy is Axolotl and his species hails from the lakes of Mexico, including that elusive lake Xochimilco that lies beneath Mexico City.
The Axolotl is a salamander -- a group of amphibians that are not known for their good looks anyway. Add the bushy stalks and albino features and things get downright fugly. Those stalks are actually external gills that stir through oxygenated water for underwater breathing. They can also "gulp" air when on the surface. They come in four basic color schemes, two natural -- brown and black, and two mutant -- leucistic and albino. They have a neat trick of being able to regenerate limbs that makes them a prime target for human study.
Axolotl is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's annual Red List of threatened species.
Laurie Kay Olson
Animal News Blogger