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FlipFact of the Day: The axolotl (Abystoma mexicanum), or Mexican walking fish, can regrow almost any part of its body.

The axolotl, also known as the Mexican salamander or Mexican walking fish, possesses incredible cellular regeneration abilities. This purely aquatic amphibian can regenerate multiple bodily structures without leaving any scars. It can even receive and accept transplanted organs from other animals with ease.

As University of Montreal professor Stephane Roy puts it: “You can cut the spinal cord, crush it, remove a segment, and it will regenerate. You can cut the limbs at any level – the wrist, the elbow, the upper arm – and it will regenerate, and it’s perfect. There is nothing missing, there’s no scarring on the skin at the site of amputation, every tissue is replaced. They can regenerate the same limb 50, 60, 100 times. And every time: perfect.”

The axolotl is classified as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The species has only one natural habitat: Lake Xochimilco in Mexico. However, axolotls can be found in various laboratories all over the world, as experts keep them in captivity for research purposes.

Today’s Science History Milestone: On September 23, 1846, German astronomer Johann G. Galle discovered the planet Neptune, after French astronomer Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier calculated its location and asked Galle to look for it.


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Cover image: Paul Starosta/Getty Images

References

  • https://www.flipscience.ph/plants-and-animals/axolotl-dna-human-regeneration/