What Do Axolotls Eat: The Wild and Captive Diet of an Amphibian Marvel


Photo: aureapterus via Getty Images

 

The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a critically endangered amphibian that is found in the Xochimilco network of lakes and canals in Mexico City. These unusual creatures have some amazing features, including the ability to regenerate lost body parts! Another interesting fact about axolotls is that they eat a different diet in the wild than they do in captivity. In this blog post, we will explore the diet of the axolotl and learn more about these fascinating creatures!

What is an Axolotl?

Photo: tane-mahuta via Getty Images

 

The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a permanently aquatic salamander endemic to Mexico. It is also one of the few species of salamander that are capable of regenerating their limbs, spinal cord, heart, and other organs.

The axolotl has a wide range of colors and patterns, which can vary depending on the population's location. Some populations have a nearly black coloration, while other populations exhibit a mix of yellow, olive green, and gray patches. Axolotls typically reach lengths of 15-25 cm.

Axolotls are oviparous, meaning they lay eggs outside of the body. The female axolotl will deposit her eggs on submerged vegetation or in crevices in the substrate. The eggs will hatch into larva after about two weeks, and the larvae will undergo a metamorphosis to become adult axolotls.

Axolotls have been used for research purposes for many years due to their ability to regenerate tissue. They are currently being studied for their potential use in regenerative medicine.

You could argue that they’re also being studied for… relaxation purposes? Kidding aside, it’s going to be hard to find an axolotl yourself. Luckily for you, Gage Beasley’s Black Axolotl Soft Stuffed Plush Toy is here to comfort you. In fact, it looks a little bit like How to Train Your Dragon’s Toothless, huh?

Gage Beasley’s Black Axolotl Soft Stuffed Plush Toy

What do Axolotls Eat in the Wild?

Axolotls are carnivores, meaning that they eat mostly meat. They usually eat small fish, but can also eat other animals, such as worms and insects. Axolotls have a sharp sense of smell and can easily find food in the water. They use their long tongues to snatch prey out of the water.

Axolotls are also scavengers, meaning that they will eat dead animals or animal parts. This is a good way for them to get nutrients that they may not be able to find in live prey. Axolotls have a strong stomach acid that helps them digest their food.

Because axolotls can regenerate their limbs, they don't need to be too careful when hunting for food. If they lose a limb while hunting, they can just grow another one. This is an advantage over other carnivores, who may not be able to survive if they lose a limb.

Axolotls are born with a small amount of energy stored in their bodies. This energy helps them get through the early stages of life when they are growing and don't have a lot of energy to hunt for food. Once axolotls reach adulthood, they can start hunting for their own food.

What do Axolotls Eat in Captivity?

Axolotls are carnivorous and eat a variety of live prey in captivity. They primarily eat small fish, but can also be fed earthworms, crickets, and other small insects. It is important to provide a variety of food items to help ensure that the axolotl receives the proper nutrients.

Axolotls should not be fed raw meat, as this can contain harmful bacteria that can make the axolotl sick. It is important to cook the meat before feeding it to the axolotl.

Axolotls are also known to eat plants, so it is important to provide them with a source of vegetation. Some good options for providing plants include fresh vegetables, such as romaine lettuce or spinach, and blanched green beans.

Axolotls should not be fed live prey that is larger than the axolotl's head. This can cause the axolotl to become stressed and can lead to injuries. It is important to break the prey into small pieces before feeding it to the axolotl.

Axolotls can be fed a variety of commercially available fish food pellets, as well as frozen and live brine shrimp. It is important to research which foods are best for your specific axolotl.

It is important to consult with an experienced axolotl keeper before changing the axolotl's diet. Making changes to the axolotl's diet can be dangerous and can lead to health problems.

Axolotls should be fed a minimum of twice per day but can be fed up to five times per day. It is important to monitor the axolotl's weight and adjust the feeding schedule as needed.

Cheers!

~GB


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