Five Paragraph Essay
LO: Write an essay about an animal.
SC: Structure 5 paragraphs include PEEEP, transitions.
Pink skin stretched across a scarily human-like face, feathery gills protruding from either side of its head, and black beady eyes staring at you…
Axolotls are unique, exciting creatures, because of their ability to regrow their limbs, live long lives in their larval state, and change from aquatic-based amphibians to land-based ones.
Axolotls have the amazing ability to regrow their limbs. Found exclusively in Lake Xochimilco in Mexico their population numbers are steadily declining, though their population as laboratory animals thrives due to the fact that they are used extensively in scientific research, because of their limb re-growing ability. Normal wound healing in animals occurs through the growth of scar tissue, which is not as robust as the original tissue; however axolotls can completely replace issue and regrow whole limbs.
Furthermore, axolotls have the rare, but recognised trait of retaining their larval features for the duration of their adult life. This is called neoteny and the axolotl maintains its tadpole-like dorsal fin that runs the length of its body, and external feathery-like gills, for their adult life, even after reaching full maturity two years after birth.
Though they breathe primarily through their gills, axolotls also breathe – to some extent – through their skin and possess rudimentary lungs. It is extremely infrequent, but not unheard of that, after reaching full maturity, an axolotl will emerge from the depths of Lake Xochimilco and live on land. Though they have that ability, most axolotls are content to stay in the water, and breathe through their gills.
Axolotls continue to fascinate many around the world, despite their grotesque appearance. Perhaps it is their ability to regrow their limbs, or live up to fifteen years in their larval sate. Maybe it is the ability to change from an aquatic-based amphibian to a land-based one. Possibly it could be all three that make this creature so unique and exciting.
By Stella Nightingale