Skip to main content
Select Source:

axolotl

axolotl (ăk´səlŏt´əl), a salamander, 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 neoteny; 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 amphibians, 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 Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Amphibia, order Urodela, family Ambystomidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"axolotl." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"axolotl." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/axolotl

"axolotl." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/axolotl

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

axolotl

axolotl Larval form of certain species of salamander native to w USA and Mexico. Axolotls are aquatic amphibians that normally mature and reproduce without developing into adult salamanders. Length: c.25cm (10in). Family Ambystomidae.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"axolotl." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"axolotl." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/axolotl

"axolotl." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/axolotl

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

axolotl

axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) See AMBYSTOMATIDAE.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"axolotl." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"axolotl." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/axolotl

"axolotl." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/axolotl

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

axolotl

axolotlbattle, cattle, chattel, embattle, prattle, rattle, Seattle, tattle •fractal •cantle, covenantal, mantel, mantle, Prandtl •pastel • Fremantle • tittle-tattle •startle, stratal •Nahuatl •fettle, kettle, metal, mettle, nettle, petal, Popocatépetl, settle •dialectal, rectal •dental, gentle, mental, Oriental, parental, rental •transeptal •festal, vestal •gunmetal •antenatal, fatal, hiatal, natal, neonatal, ratel •beetle, betel, chital, decretal, fetal •blackbeetle •acquittal, belittle, brittle, committal, embrittle, it'll, kittle, little, remittal, skittle, spittle, tittle, victual, whittle •edictal, rictal •lintel, pintle, quintal •Bristol, Chrystal, crystal, pistol •varietal • coital • phenobarbital •orbital • pedestal • sagittal • vegetal •digital • skeletal • Doolittle •congenital, genital, primogenital, urogenital •capital • lickspittle • hospital • marital •entitle, mistitle, recital, requital, title, vital •subtitle • surtitle •axolotl, bottle, dottle, glottal, mottle, pottle, throttle, wattle •fontal, horizontal •hostel, intercostal, Pentecostal •greenbottle • bluebottle • Aristotle •chortle, immortal, mortal, portal •Borstal •anecdotal, sacerdotal, teetotal, total •coastal, postal •subtotal •brutal, footle, pootle, refutal, rootle, tootle •buttle, cuttle, rebuttal, scuttle, shuttle, subtle, surrebuttal •buntal, contrapuntal, frontal •crustal • societal • pivotal •hurtle, kirtle, myrtle, turtle

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"axolotl." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"axolotl." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/axolotl

"axolotl." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/axolotl

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.