Thursday, October 13, 2016

Axolotl

One of the things that I am interested in is Biomimicry. Bio=life, Mimic=to copy. It's trying to solve problems by looking to nature to see how it has solved it. In a previous post I mentioned how Velcro was developed after George de Mestral in 1941 looked at the burrs he pulled from his trousers, and his dog's coat, under a microscope.  
My desk mate is an animal that is being studied because of it's ability to regenerate, not just it's tail, but can recover from catastrophic injuries such as limb loss, major organ loss, and even injuries to it's brain! This is my pet Axolotl. They were originally from a lake near Mexico City. But, due to urban sprawl and pollution (which they could not survive in) they are extinct in the wild. There are thriving populations of captive bred Axolotls.
Axolotls are a type of aquatic salamander. Most salamanders will develop lungs, and be able to go on land. Axolotls will continue to use gills, and never go on land. Keeping a characteristic of 'infancy' is called neoteny.
The average Axolotl will grow to be around 10 inches...give or take. When he wants something to eat, he will swim over to the side of his tank that I store his food on, and stare at it. He follows it as I move it towards me to get some out, and then looks up waiting for me to drop it. They seem like such a slow animal, but can move very quickly when catching a meal, or trying to escape.
My son named mine Sashimi 


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