Image of the Day: The Axolotl Is On Its Last Legs
The axolotl is on its last legs. The axolotl is a rare Mexican salamander (this particular one is of the albino variety). It is unique in that, unlike most salamanders, it stays in water with its fins and gills for its entire life and almost never matures fully into an amphibious salamander. They can also regrow lost limbs. They live only in a particular lake complex on the outskirts of Mexico City. However, according to National Geographic, urbanization of the city has put a strain on the salamander’s lake home and the species is now near extinction.
According to the Guardian, DBC Pierre, who won the Man Booker Prize in 2003, and a group of musicians have written a symphony for the threatened animal called “An Axolotl Odyssey.” It was performed at the London Natural History Museum on June 23. DBC Pierre explained in a piece he wrote for the Guardian why axolotls are relevant to humans right now, why a symphony is important, “they may have been around for millennia (the Aztecs worshipped them, believing them to be the secret manifestation of Xolotl, the god of lightning and death), but we have suddenly realized they have something we badly, badly want. They can regrow themselves. Science wants to know how.”
Credit: Stephen Dalton/NPL/Pestival