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21 May 2013

Axolotls ajolotes in Spanish and Nahautl …  native only to Like Texcoco, are nearly extinct in the wild, “thanks” to drainage over the last half millenia, competition from introduced species like Tilia, and by being tasty little critters.  Widely bred in captivity for scientific research (they have big embryos besides a few odd features like not rejecting transplants from others of their own species, regenerating lost organs and… best of all for them… able to extend puberty indefinitely — unlike humans, axolotl adolescents eat less than adults, which has some advantages; like humans, the teenagers are perpetually horny and can reproduce, creating a win-win for the species even in lean times).  And, for an added bonus, they drive “intelligent design” folks nuts… they have both gills and lungs…. sometimes.

A thousand captive bred Axolotls were released back into Lake Xochimilco (about the only part of Lake Texcoco still extant) this week, with another five thousand to be released over the next year.

(Jornada: Liberan mil ajolotes jóvenes en canales controlados de Xochimilco)

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