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Amazing Mexican Axolotl - Mexican Axolotl Facts, Photos, Information, Habitats, News


Mexican Axolotl - Ambystoma mexicanum


The Mexican axolotl (pronounced ACK-suh-LAH-tuhl) salamander has the rare trait of retaining its larval features throughout its adult life. This condition, called neoteny, means it keeps its tadpole-like dorsal fin, which runs almost the length of its body, and its feathery external gills, which protrude from the back of its wide head.

The axolotl, Ambystoma mexicanum, is a neotenic salamander, closely related to the Tiger Salamander. Larvae of this species fail to undergo metamorphosis, so the adults remain aquatic and gilled. It is also called ajolote (which is also a common name for different types of salamander). The species originates from numerous lakes, such as Lake Xochimilco underlying Mexico City. Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate limbs.

Axolotls should not be confused with waterdogs, the larval stage of the closely related Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum and Ambystoma mavortium), which are widespread in much of North America and also occasionally become neotenic, nor with mudpuppies (Necturus spp.), fully aquatic salamanders which are not closely related to the axolotl but bear a superficial resemblance.

As of 2010, wild axolotls are near extinction due to urbanization in Mexico City and polluted waters. Nonnative fish such as African tilapia and Asian carp have also recently been introduced to the waters. These new fish have been eating the axolotls' young, as well as its primary source of food. The axolotl is currently on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's annual Red List of threatened species.

Found exclusively in the lake complex of Xochimilco (pronounced SO-chee-MILL-koh) near Mexico City, axolotls differ from most other salamanders in that they live permanently in water. In extremely rare cases, an axolotl will progress to maturity and emerge from the water, but by and large, they are content to stay on the bottom of Xochimilco’s lakes and canals.

Close relatives of the tiger salamander, axolotls can be quite large, reaching up to a foot (30 centimeters) in length, although the average size is closer to half that. They are typically black or mottled brown, but albino and white varieties are somewhat common, particularly among captive specimens.

Axolotls are long-lived, surviving up to 15 years on a diet of mollusks, worms, insect larvae, crustaceans, and some fish. Accustomed to being a top predator in its habitat, this species has begun to suffer from the introduction of large fish into its lake habitat. Natural threats include predatory birds such as herons.

Populations are in decline as the demands of nearby Mexico City have led to the draining and contamination of much of the waters of the Xochimilco Lake complex. They are also popular in the aquarium trade, and roasted axolotl is considered a delicacy in Mexico, further shrinking their numbers. They are considered a critically endangered species.

Fast Facts about Mexican Axolotl

Type: Amphibian
Diet: Carnivore
Average life span in the wild: 10 to 15 years
Size: Up to 12 in (30 cm)
Weight: 2.11 to 8 oz (60 to 227 g)
Protection status: Endangered
Did you know? : Because they have the ability to regenerate lost body parts, axolotls are probably one of the most scientifically studied salamanders in the world.

Courtesy : http://animals.nationalgeographic.com, http://en.wikipedia.org/

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Amazing 3D Virtual Street Reality - Amazing 3D Street Illusion Painting, Virtual Street Reality Paintings

3D Virtual Street Reality - Amazing Street Paintings

Street Painting has been recorded throughout Europe since the 16th century. Street painters in Italy are called madonnari.because they often created pictures representing the Madonna. Historically, madonnari were itinerant artists who lived a life of travel and freedom. Aware of the festival and holy days (holidays) in each province and town, they traveled to join in the festivities. They created images in public squares and in front of the local church using bits of broken roof tiles, charcoal, and some white chalk. Passersby would often leave a bit of bread or olive oil for the artist along with an occasional coin. The artists were often commissioned to create votos and ex-votos, and after the festivities or with the first rain, both the painting and the painter would vanish.
A recent development in the Street Painting art form in the twenty first century is the use of user generated video, blogging, and podcasting of Street Painting artists at all levels of ability and their fans worldwide. This new technological advance offers opportunity for all Street Painting, artists, festivals, and fans to allow a window not only to their latest image or festival appearance but a chance to let others know why they street paint and to encourage others – especially the younger generation of street painters to become known and grow in experience.
These are some amazing 3D drawings on the sides of street and pavements at various spots, I dont know the artist as I got this by Email but whoever he is he is truly awesome and a sheer genius . These 3D images give the real virtual experience .

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