Albino axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, with its red necklace of feathery gills. The axolotl is a type of salamander, found only in Lake Xochimilco, Mexico. It is an example of neoteny; the prolonged retention of juvenile characteristics. It remains a larva all its life and, in nature, has never been found in its metamorphosed form. It is even capable of breeding in its larval state. Axolotls can be artificially induced to metamorphose by treatment with thyroid hormones. The name axolotl stems from an Aztec word meaning water monster. The albino variety has been produced in captivity; the natural colouration is dark.
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