Dedicated to my favorite reader, Beth, in Orange County:
Looking perpetually happy (or stupid?). Axolotls are usually presented with their wee arms and digits splayed about their side.
Axolotls exhibit a trait called paedomorphosis. As in, rather than metamorphosizing, they are paedomorphic, which is to say, they retain their juvenile appearance.
The other remarkable thing about them besides being extraordinarily cuuute, is their healing and regenerative abilities. "Normal wound-healing in animals occurs through the growth of scar tissue, and this also means that most animals won't re-grow a lost limb. However the axolotl is fully capable of complete limb re-growth."
It is said that Xolotl, the Mexican god of death (or as the Sea World website puts it: games [doubly morbid and sick!]), assumed the form of an axolotl to escape some ired enemies.
I like the white (leucistic) axolotls, which used to seem grotesque to me like the blind albino cave hoek (I think I'm going to be sick!). They are now my favorites--the leucistic ones, not the albinos, because I don't like red eyes.
Although in nature, the colored ones are more likely to be found.
Which for whatever reason, doesn't want to be loaded up here. You can see a darker axolotl at the California Academy of Sciences in SF.
YES on Prop 86.