Giant coconut crab embracing a trash can

Giant coconut crab embracing a trash can

Don’t just take my word for it. Take a look at this website for more. There are some mistakes on nomenclature and description (the Kuga is from New Caledonia, not New Zealand), but the compilation is remarkable.

The list includes the “Mexican walking fish”, which is actually an Amphibian, order Caudata (or Urodela as it was called in my school years), called axolotl in Mexico.

The Caudata include salamanders and other tailed, four-legged, lizard-like amphibians. Caudata split off during the Mid to Late Permian; the resemblance to lizards is just convergence. They inhabit nearly all northern temperate regions with moist and cool habitats, but the greatest diversity is in North America (9 of the 10 families).

Salamanders are unusual among animals in having very large amounts of DNA in their nuclear genomes, another example of how there is no correlation between DNA size and species complexity. The C-Value, measured as mass of a haploid nucleus ranges from 15 to 90 picograms; the C-value for humans is approximately 3 picograms.

Mexican walking fish, not really a fish but still

Mexican walking fish, not really a fish but still

The axolotls are usually dark-colored, although the picture shows an albino. Axolotls are very nearly extinct in their native lagoons in and around Mexico City due to invasive species competition and habitat destruction:

One problem is with non-native fish species like the Asian Carp and the African tilapia that eat young Axolotls. They haven’t evolved in the same environment, so they don’t have good defense mechanisms against them. The other big issue is habitat destruction. Lakes have been drained, and wastewater from Mexico City pollute waterways.

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