When doing introductions, there’s always that one person that tries to think outside the box but fails miserably for being creative. That person is me. And in our first interactive name-learning game during class I thought I’d be unusual. The background to the situation is that we had to go around the circle sharing our names and an animal that started with the first letter of your name and preferably describing you in one way or another. Along with myself, several other people had names starting with the letter “A.” And then there were the usual animal suspects- ant, antelope, albatross, alligator, you get the picture. I thought to myself “Here’s a good idea; link yourself to an axolotl.” Well, that definitely caught people off guard. Not only had they never heard of such an animal, but also struggled to remember it or how to pronounce it. Having said all this, the group definitely remembered my name and who I was so in many ways I was extremely successful.
The point of this post, however, is to enlighten you on exactly what a axolotl (pronounced ax-oh-lot-ull) is. Commonly known as the “Mexican Walking Fish,” the axolotl is in fact an amphibian and a salamander ¹. It looks like a cross between a lizard and a fish but is far more appealing and adorable. It’s gills and tail resemble the features of a dragon and it can be bred in various different colours including shades of grey and brown, white, golden albino and white albino. Interestingly enough, they are actually covered in skin, not scales!³ They grow to be about 25-30cm in length and can live for 8-10 years². And, wait for it, they also always look like they’re smiling! In conclusion, they’re pretty amazing, so I’m glad I chose that animal to represent me.
The name “axolotl” derives from the Aztec language “Nahuatl.” Popular translations of the name link the axolotl to the Aztec god Xolotl of deformations and death, however a more widely accepted translation is that of a “water-dog.” ¹ This video goes into more depth and facts about the fascinating creature.
Below is an enjoyable video to spread the love for the axolotl.
Catch you later cats and kittens,
¹ Clare, J.P 2012, Axolotls, viewed 6th August 2012, <http://www.axolotl.org/biology.htm>
² All About Axolotls, viewed 6th August 2012, <http://inky.50megs.com/axolotlnewfaq.html>
³ Sydenham, S & Thomas, R 2002, Axolotls, viewed 6th August 2012, <http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/petsaxolo.htm>