What are Axolotls - Fun Facts and a Unit Study Printable for Kids

Are your kids interested in learning all about the curious creatures known as the axolotl?

If so, you'll love this axolotls unit study that features so many cool facts, vocabulary to learn, information about their habitats, and even a printable colouring page!

Lots of kids have come across axolotls through Minecraft and will want to know more about this fascinating creature.

Scroll down for fun facts about axolotls and a printable pack to help you learn more.

Grab this printable unit study so they can learn more about axolotls, whether at home or in your homeschool.

What is an Axolotl?

Axolotls are amazing creatures - they are members of the salamander family but live their whole lives underwater.

Axolotls are unique among the amphibian family in that they spend their entire lives in water.

Unusually, they don't need to come up for air and they never evolve into adult amphibians.

Instead, they stay in the larval stage their whole life!

This is due to a rare condition called 'neoteny' which causes them to retain their larval features into adulthood.

They have all the features of a tadpole, including feathery gills and a long, quill-like dorsal fin, even when they’re fully mature.

This is why they do not need to surface for air and explains why they are often called 'walking fish'

Axolotls are found in the lakes and wetlands of the Mexican Central Valley, and latterly in the canals of Mexico City.

They can grow to be about 15-45cm long and are famous for their ability to regenerate lost limbs.

If an axolotl loses a limb (or even half of its tail), it can grow a new one!

Why Are they Called Axolotl?

The god of fire and lightning, and of monsters, in Aztec mythology was Xolotl.

To save himself from being sacrificed, Xolotl is said to have disguised himself as a salamander: the axolotl.

Axolotl Colours

Axolotls can be found in a variety of colours, including brown, gray, green, and albino (white with red eyes). 

Albino axolotls are the most popular type, but they are also the most vulnerable to predators because they don't have camouflage to blend in with their surroundings.

Are Axolotls Amphibians?

Yes, axolotls are amphibians.

They are in the salamander family along with other species such as newts and mudpuppies.

Neoteny means that they spend their whole lives in water, they breathe through gills instead of lungs like most amphibians.

Can Axolotls Breathe Air?

In order to breathe air, axolotls have a special organ called a lung sac.

The lung sac is located in their gills and allows them to take in oxygen directly from the air.

While they do go up for air sometimes, it's not necessary for survival.

They can stay underwater and breathe through their gills without coming up for air.

Can Axolotls Live with Fish?

While most axolotls live their whole lives in freshwater streams and lakes, they are occasionally found living alongside fish.

This is because they often inhabit areas where the water tends to be murky or stagnant.

Axolotls are not known to be aggressive and generally get along well with other creatures.

But axolotls are carnivores, living on a diet of worms, insects, crustaceans, molluscs and some small species of fish.

They were at the top of their food chain in Mexican waters, but recently invasive, non-native species of perch and tilapia have been introduced.

They predate on axolotls and have contributed to a steep decline in the number of wild axolotls, exacerbated by demand for axolotls as a deep fried delicacy and live for the pet trade.

Do Axolotls Have Teeth?

Yes, axolotls have teeth! In fact, they can have up to 100 teeth.

However, they don't use their teeth for chewing food.

Instead, they use them to grip onto their prey so they can eat it with ease.

Their diet consists mostly of insects, worms, and small fish. Axolotls are carnivores and do not eat plants or fruits.

More About Axolotls

If you're interested in learning more about axolotls, be sure to check out this cool axolotls unit study.

It's packed with information about these fascinating creatures, including their habitats, where they live, and more.

The axolotl unit study is perfect for kids who are interested in science, nature, or animals.

It's a great way to learn about these amazing creatures and their habitats.

Plus, the printable colouring page is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages!

Whether you're a teacher looking for a fun science lesson or a parent searching for a new homeschooling project, this axolotl unit study is sure to be a hit!

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