Questions from the Audience
Are the regenerative abilities of axolotls preserve over all their lifespan? are there a decline in these abilities between stages (i.e. tadpoles an adult stage)?
Axolotls regenerate throughout life. In general there is no decline in an axolotls regenerative ability between stages like you see in frogs which regenerate their tail in the tadpole stage but lose the ability to regenerate after they metamorphose.Axolotls regenerate their limbs, tail, spinal cord throughout life. However in axolotls there is one type of tissue regeneration that is stage specific and that it lens regeneration. They regenerate the lens very early in life but loose this ability about two weeks after hatching. However other salamanders like newts regenerate the lens throughout life.
You said that axolotls are almost extinct in the wild, would it ever be possible to reintroduce the lab animals back in their native habitat?
It is better to focus on conservation projects to protect the animals in the wild and their natural habitat so that numbers in the wild increase naturally. Animals bred in the lab may have changed their genetic make up slightly because of inbreeding and may be more susceptible to disease when placed in the wild.
Can axolotls just regrow limbs or do their powers of regeneration work on things like organs and eyes?
Axolotls can regenerate many different tissues not just the limbs. They can regenerate the tails, a lesion in the spinal cord, a portion of the heart, a part of the brain and their gills.
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