Photograph by Stephen Dalton/Animals Animals—Earth Scenes
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.
Found exclusively in the lake complex of Xochimilco, populations are in decline as the demands of nearby Mexico City have led to the draining and contamination of much of the waters. They are considered a critically endangered species.