Axolotls retain their larval form for life.

Axolotls retain their larval form for life.

 

Axolotls retain their larval form for life
Image credit: rubund/CC BY-SA 2.0

While some salamanders are born as adults, axolotls never become adults. Instead, they retain their gills for life and have legs that never fully develop, which means they have to stay in the water, earning the name ‘walking fish’. This condition is called neoteny and is the result of the lack of the thyroid hormone.

 

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