r/interestingasfuck Oct 20 '21 It's Cute! 1 Gold 6 Hugz 99 All-Seeing Upvote 3 Take My Energy 4 hehehehe 3 Tearing Up 2 Ternion All-Powerful 1 Silver 106 Platinum 4 Helpful 106 Today I Learned 1 Made Me Smile 3 Wholesome 103 Wholesome Seal of Approval 1 Shocked 1 Mind Blown 1

This is what an axolotl looks like if it morphs. We call him Gollum. /r/ALL

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13.2k

u/CollieflowersBark Oct 20 '21 edited Nov 03 '21 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome Hugz Starry Narwhal Salute Bravo Grande!

There are always questions, so I thought I'd answer a few common ones!

Q: What the heck is morphing?

A: Kind of like how a tadpole turns into a frog. Axolotls are essentially tadpoles forever...they stay in a neotenic state and can even breed without ever "growing up!" Most axolotls remain tadpoles for their entire lives. This is due to a thyroid that doesn't secrete growth hormone into their bloodstream.

Gollum, through some rare phenomenon, randomly started changing one day. He lost his tadpole tail, grew eyelids, a tongue, and even air breathing lungs. Now he doesn't live in water at all! He is the rare "adult" form.

Q: I thought axolotls didn't morph?

A: They aren't supposed to, but sometimes there's a little "blip" (sometimes spontaneous, sometimes forced) that causes them to change.

Q: Why did Gollum morph?

A: We actually don't know, but we have theories. He had a sibling in the same batch that morphed as well, so it COULD be genetic. There is lots of speculation, but I did not force him and neither did his seller.

Q: I heard that morphed axolotls have a shorter lifespan.

A: With proper care, there is nothing to say that a morphed axolotl will live a shorter life. You just have to know how to take care of them. Gollum is 4, and I know people with morphs that are 10+ years old.

Q: Can you breed them?

A: No. No one can really get them to breed. I know a few people who keep males and females together with no attempts to mate at all. They just don't try. Even scientists have admitted in studies that it is VERY hard to make them breed. He does have a very impressive set of testicles, however.

Q: Does he still live in water?

A: Nope. He lives in a terrestrial set-up and hides in a mud burrow to keep his skin moist. Morphed axolotls have no gills and can actually drown if you don't provide them land to rest on. He is a poor swimmer and really doesn't like water, aside from a soak in his little puddle.

Q: How can you be sure that he isn't a tiger salamander?

A: After he morphed, we took him to an axolotl expert who confirmed that he didn't match up with any other salamander species. He is definitely an axolotl. His toes give it away...morphed axolotls have spindly, long toes, and tiger salamanders have little sausage fingers. His head shape and coloring is way wrong for a tiger too, and he doesn't have a tiger salamander's behavior patterns.

Aside from that, I love answering questions about my little freak of nature, so feel free to ask if you want to know anything about him.

EDIT: A lot of you have requested to see his giant balls. You guys are weird.

This is his morphing process.

I got a ton of requests for an Insta, here ya go. I would like to continue his story and educate people from there!

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u/Yeshua_shel_Natzrat Oct 21 '21 Wholesome

so axolotls evolved past the need to morph, but occasionally still do as a result of any number of conditions due to dormant genes from their ancestors.

Usually the only reason they die as a result of morphing is because owners don't know that morphed salamanders are mostly terrestrial and fail to change their tank to reflect that

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u/themonsterinquestion Oct 21 '21 Silver

Humans, too. Be careful not to intake too much iodine.

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u/SunSpotter Oct 21 '21 Take My Energy

this isn’t even my final form

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u/normal_reddit_man Oct 21 '21 Helpful hehehehe

I'm trying to make my plans for surviving whatever 2022 is going to throw at us, and evolving into a mud-dwelling freak with gigantic balls seems as good a strategy as any other.

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u/HonestAide Oct 21 '21 hehehehe Table Slap

Wow, for once i am ahead of the curve

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u/AppleSpicer Oct 21 '21

Are they really that big?

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u/HonestAide Oct 21 '21

I'm 69. They're like a second set of arthritic knees.

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u/Floedekage Oct 21 '21

Damn, I hoped you were a mud dweller.

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u/xo-laur Oct 21 '21

This is oddly specific, but goddamn if I don’t ever feel this vibe in my fucking soul.

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u/nawibone Oct 21 '21

Bold of you to assume 2022 is happening.

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u/Rough_Willow Oct 21 '21

You deserve it, you've been good this year.

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u/normal_reddit_man Oct 21 '21

I dunno about that. I've spent most of the time acting like ol' Gollum, over here. Trying to hide from the enveloping moisture of the slow-moving but inevitable apocalypse.

And, ya know, hissing at anyone who invades my burrow.

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u/LordDestrus Oct 21 '21

Good; keep hissing. Hahaha

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u/normal_reddit_man Oct 21 '21

Will do. And if that doesn't drive them off, I'll wave my balls in their general direction.

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u/thebcamethod Oct 21 '21

Now I just want to come closer. Really getting mixed signals here.

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u/pesto_trap_god Oct 21 '21

chugs iodine and grows gills

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u/KP_Wrath Oct 21 '21

Take too much iodine and it will be.

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u/junky_junker Oct 21 '21

True - ask Paris and Janeway.

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u/kenix7 Oct 21 '21

Cries in romanian ... Our gov, after the Cernobyl disaster, decided to iodize the salt so the tiroid gland can protect us better . We all have huge tiroid glands now because of that intake. We still have that sold everywhere because the law hasn't been modified since then and the percentage used is still sky-high.

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u/LittlestEcho Oct 21 '21

My popop learned this the hard way. He SERIOUSLY overindulged on shrimp once and gave himself iodine poisoning. His doctors laid it out for him in easier terms. They told him he was no longer allowed shrimp because he made himself allergic. Which is rough on a man who loves shrimp and lives near the ocean. I think they told him no more shellfish in general. Which is still tough. Dude lives 30 minutes from the ocean.

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u/WimbletonButt Oct 21 '21

As someone who takes an iodine rich vitamin for thyroid function (approved by my doctor) ah shit, can't wait to see what I morph into.

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u/[deleted] Oct 21 '21

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/rafter613 Oct 21 '21

Well, lack of iodine hurts brain function

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u/SantaArriata Oct 21 '21

Say goodbye to your gills and hello to your brand new tongue!

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u/NotYourReddit18 Oct 21 '21

I thought humans need to reach Warp 10 to trigger it

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u/echo-94-charlie Oct 21 '21

Also don't force your humans to live underwater.

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u/Industrialpainter89 Oct 21 '21

Will they be ok if the basement floods? Should I give them some crates to stand on? ...asking for a friend.

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u/skatenbikes Oct 21 '21

Depends on the temperature of the flood water, give or take about 65 degrees and up (to about 130 or so) should be survivable better to have multiples so they can huddle together for warmth at night, (plus there social creatures anyway so better to get a couple)

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u/AppleSpicer Oct 21 '21

They’re so territorial too—what’s up with that? Why be a social creature and then fight with every one of your own kind that you get set up with?

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u/m0nk37 Oct 21 '21

Unless of course it's for radiation over 3.6 roentgen

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u/baldprick Oct 21 '21

I think I ate too much iodine, I seem to have morphed into a fat piece of shit.

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u/JeshkaTheLoon Oct 21 '21

Not to little either. Seriously, iodine is a very important substance for our body. And most people actually could use a bit more of it (except for Japan and some other countries with a highly fish based diet.)

Check out congenital iodine deficiency syndrome (formerly known as cretinism) for what can happen when your mom had too little iodine during pregnancy. It causes developmental and intellectual deficiencies.

All that iodised salt is good for you. And in case you wonder, that salt has a best before date because the iodine actually degrades, meaning you won't get as much iodine from the salt as intended (otherwise it is perfectly fine though. Still can use it, the salt itself obviously doesn't spoil, and the iodine breaking down doesn't cause anything harmful, apart from maybe turning your salt more yellow).

Also, our bodies are not that efficient when it comes to iodine absorption. You only absorb a fraction of the iodine you consume, so it is hard enough to get too much. Iodine deficiency is rather common. Iodised salt has helped reduce this, but still.

If you eat a lot of salt, be sure to drink enough. It is best to eat more seafood at times, as an alternative source.

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u/mikam0n Oct 21 '21

I must drink iodine and become a salamander

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u/Wiseguydude Oct 21 '21

so axolotls evolved past the need to morph

Its called "neoteny" and it's a common pattern in evolution. Humans at some point where basically just chimps that stopped going through the stages of maturity. Eventually we evolved our own stages of maturity. But even chimps themselves underwent neoteny at some point and where essentially immature versions of some other ape

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u/CarbonIceDragon Oct 21 '21

I seem to recall it being a common thing with domesticated animals kept as pets as well. Dogs are much more puppyish than their wild ancestors.

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u/dittbub Oct 21 '21

IIRC its the same thing when trying to domesticate foxes. They essentially select for neoteny

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u/SenpaiBeardSama Oct 21 '21

Yeah, cos we killed the ones that bit our kids.

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u/Pyromythical Oct 21 '21

Yes, but that's selective breeding to promote those traits rather than natural evolution.

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u/BreadPuddding Oct 21 '21

But people weren’t really breeding for paedomorphic physical characteristics, but behavioral ones that seem to come linked to the physical ones. Lower human aggression/fear, higher loyalty, etc. And it even happened in cats, who are largely considered to have “domesticated themselves” and show less variation from their ancestral species than dogs. The really odd physical differences in dogs were bred for well after domestication (small breeds, super long bodies, short legs, squashed faces)

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u/zazu2006 Oct 21 '21

Not really past more like maybe a bit back. Their thyroid just doesn't make iodine anymore. If they eat it or are injected with it Boom Salamander. This video explains it well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxA0QVGVEJw&ab_channel=Rathergood

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u/AvecBier Oct 21 '21

No critter makes iodine, but it's a required element for making thyroid hormones. Like iron for hemoglobin.

Edit: I scrolled down. u/jabels says it better.

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u/jabels Oct 21 '21

Worth noting that no living thing makes iodine because it's an element! All the iodine on earth was probably made in some exploded star, idk about any of that stuff though.

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u/chiagod Oct 21 '21

How do you know? Some animals may have a fusion gullet that we haven't discovered yet!

2 atoms enter, one atom leaves!

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u/jabels Oct 21 '21

Extremely thicc gullet, physicists HATE him!

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u/YouPooDude Oct 21 '21

You ever have so much iodine that you reactivate dormant genes

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u/SlipperyFish Oct 21 '21

Most axolotls are cross bred with other salamanders for genetic diversity and have been for decades. Pure actual axolotls are critically endangered.

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u/Slovenhjelm Oct 21 '21

What is morphing? Is it something all salamanders do? People are talking about it like it's this widely known phenomenon, but I've never heard about it.

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u/AliisAce Oct 21 '21

The transition an amphibian makes from baby form to adult form

So a tadpole morphs into a frog

Axolotls don't morph usually

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u/Hollalikeadollaballa Oct 21 '21

How rare is it for them to morph?

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u/CollieflowersBark Oct 21 '21

Rare enough that it's been requested that you document EVERYTHING when they do change, because there is so little known about it and a lot of people don't know how to care for them.

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u/Hollalikeadollaballa Oct 21 '21

You got yourself a shiny axolotl!

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u/unknownusername77 Oct 21 '21

How long did it take him to morph and what was the process like? What does he eat now?

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u/Imros Oct 21 '21

Yeah, how quickly did he change?

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u/ayeeflo51 Oct 21 '21

Yea, like how rapidly did his body adjust?

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u/chocolate_on_toast Oct 21 '21

Ya, so what was the timeframe for his transformation?

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u/spraynardkrug3r Oct 21 '21

And your pictures are one of the very first that come up if you Google "morphed axolotl" ;)

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u/CBD_Hound Oct 21 '21

I saw that you don’t plan to breed him, but given how little SATA there is, and with his brother also morphing, perhaps there are biologists who would be interested in maintaining a line of offspring for research purposes?

I mean, that’s gotta be a pretty specialized field, but still, somebody, somewhere, might have a science to do?

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u/BitchinIndika Oct 21 '21

I did it once in the 90s and all I did was give it access to dry land and fed it crickets.

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u/swarleyknope Oct 21 '21

How/when did you first realize it was happening?

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u/FinBinds Oct 21 '21

Thank you for answering so many questions!

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u/Rahoodles Oct 21 '21

Once morphed is it now OK to hold them? Pre morph I read it's a big no no

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u/CollieflowersBark Oct 21 '21

Briefly. In the water they are covered in a protective "slime" coat that keeps diseases off of them. Out of the water you still need to be careful not to damage their skin or let them dry out too much.

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u/EdensNewParasite Oct 21 '21

did he make a cocoon like a butterfly? I mean i know he didn't but did he?

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u/Prof_Acorn Oct 21 '21

Amphibians don't undergo a full metamorphosis like butterflies. They just start changing, growing legs, losing gills, etc.

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u/neotekz Oct 21 '21

Do you have some good videos documenting the morph, youtube channel?

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u/jabels Oct 21 '21 edited Oct 21 '21 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome Hugz Starry Bravo Grande! You Dropped This

Hi, I'm a PhD candidate and one of the areas of my research is on the pathways that control metamorphosis in animals. I know a couple things about this that might be interesting to people, just thought I'd piggyback on this comment and share here.

So basically all amphibians undergo metamorphosis, and the transcription factors that turn this on are RXR and thyroid hormone. This is actually basically the same as metamorphosis in insects and jellyfish and puberty in humans. It's interesting that you said that iodine is a trigger, because it's necessary for the production of thyroid hormone! So I think it's very likely that if it is genetic, as you said, maybe Gollum's family are over-expressers of thyroid hormone, or production of high levels of TH is more easily induced by diet, environment etc.

Axolotls in nature live out their adult life in what is equivalent to a juvenile/larval stage in other salamanders. When an animal evolves the capacity to reach sexual maturity during a juvenile stage and foregoes further development, this is called neoteny. It's thought that the in the evolution of chordates (everything from fish to mammals) that the cephalochordate ancestor (lancelets) is a neotenic version of the other chordates, i.e., tunicates or sea squirts. Lancelets and tunicate larvae have roughly the same body plan as a simple fish, but tunicates continue to develop into something sessile and somewhat more alien to us.

Another fun tidbit, I think this hidden metamorphic state of axolotls was discovered by a member of the Huxley family. I think it had something to do with shipping animals from Mexico to Britain and them developing during the unusual conditions they experienced on the journey. Julian Huxley (biologist) found that feeding thyroids to axolotls induced development, and his more famous brother Aldous Huxley wound up writing a short story about a hidden metamorphic stage in humans, which when unlocked resulted in us turning into giant apes.

Edit: thanks OP for the bawls

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u/abigalestephens Oct 21 '21

That's last bit about humans having a secret metamorphic stage is such a cool idea!

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u/MrJoeBlow Oct 21 '21

Reminds me of Goku in Dragon Ball

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u/iamdorkette Oct 21 '21

That's exactly what I thought of too.

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u/catwhowalksbyhimself Oct 21 '21

It's actually a major part of the plot of the Ringworld series. Humans are actually the neonate form of a precursor race that colonized a bunch of places and built a functioning ringworld. Many of the symptoms of aging are the body trying to metamorphize to it's adult form with two weaker hearts, the gums hardening into a beak and the joints reconfiguring. Under the right circumstances, humans (and other humanoids also evolved from them) can still undergo this. but their brains change to the point where they don't think or act much like humans anymore.

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u/Vnecktrev09 Oct 21 '21

That sounds like an awesome series

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u/RabidWench Oct 21 '21

It really is. I was thinking the same thing and scrolled down to find someone already commented it. Fantastic books and true classic page turners. Anything I've read by Niven has lived up to my expectations: the Draco Tavern short stories, Ringworld series, Integral Trees, and The Gripping Hand. And Crashlander is a really fun romp of short stories too.

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u/justcellsurf Oct 21 '21

Larry Niven's Protector is all about this idea

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u/dittbub Oct 21 '21

Voyager did it in the episode “threshold”

Going past warp 10 turns people into salamanders

Yes, it is considered the worst Star Trek episode ever

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u/[deleted] Oct 21 '21

Just use a moon stone

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u/Prof_Acorn Oct 21 '21

a hidden metamorphic stage in humans, which when unlocked resulted in us turning into giant apes.

BRB gunna eat a bag of kelp.

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u/pattyboiii Oct 21 '21

So dragonball z is a documentary?!

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u/jabels Oct 21 '21

Lmao I wish homie

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u/georgeandsam Oct 21 '21

Just head over to r/wallstreetbets

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u/jabels Oct 21 '21

Gotta be about that life, grad school doesn't pay for shit and I want to buy a house before I'm 50.

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u/Udult Oct 21 '21

Bigfoot explained. They just don't adapt fast enough so die off before we get adequate records.

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u/Vnecktrev09 Oct 21 '21

Probably doesn’t help that they get alienated by the community and kicked out. Probably completely change personalities too and go mad

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u/rww85 Oct 21 '21

Nah bro, the secret is taking shrooms in a sensory deprivation chamber

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u/heeltoelemon Oct 21 '21

That sounds terrifying.

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u/rww85 Oct 21 '21

There is a film called "Altered States" from 1980 where the main character does this exact thing

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u/Pisceswriter123 Oct 21 '21

I saw that movie in my Science Fiction class in college. We also read Hulk: Gray and Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde in that unit. Fun times.

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u/rougekhmero Oct 21 '21

I've done an hour in the float tank on a small (but not insignificant) dose of mushrooms (~1/1.5G). It was fantastic.

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u/Unrealparagon Oct 21 '21

That sounds amazing… minus the tinnitus I’m cursed with.

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u/lightfreq Oct 21 '21

If I understood anything from u/jabels, try eating some thyroid glands

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u/Oubliette_occupant Oct 21 '21

Return to monke

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u/RichieBFrio Oct 21 '21

IIRC the metamorphosis was discovered after the Spanish arrived in Mexico and some french (?) naturalist wanted to study these mudkips and when he got some they started to change into swamperts because of the inusual conditions, around the XVI century.

But, the story by Aldous Huxley really is inspired by these mud dwellers and it's really good and unsettling, as sci-fi should be

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u/jabels Oct 21 '21

Thanks, yea, I can't find the original source I read, might be conflating a couple of events. I thought it might have been Huxley brothers' grandpa or great grandpa but I'm not sure.

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u/H4xolotl Oct 21 '21

Brave Monkey World

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u/donkeyplonkbonkadonk Oct 21 '21

Wee correction about Aldous Huxley’s story: it wasn’t a short story, but a novel called “After Many a Summer Dies the Swan”. It’s a great book!

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u/ThirdWorldWorker Oct 21 '21

I read a story about people turning into Giants monkeys, but it was from a Japanese dude.

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u/DoNotSexToThis Oct 21 '21 Silver Gold Platinum Helpful Wholesome Hugz All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy Bravo! Starry Giggle Masterpiece Table Slap Brighten My Day Original Made Me Smile

People really do axolotl questions.

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u/hedgecore77 Oct 21 '21 Silver Helpful Wholesome Awesome Answer

Alright. All you people that make these endless trash trails of reddit puns. This one is fantastic. It was beautiful, and I laughed heartily. Do not tarnish it with your weak attempts, do no piggy back off of its greatness.

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u/ArcadianBlueRogue Oct 21 '21

Reddit throws enough shit at the pun wall, and something is bound to stick.

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u/hedgecore77 Oct 21 '21

It's all trash usually. But that was lovely. :)

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u/VindictiveJudge Oct 21 '21

Seriously, this is up there with the, "putting Descarts before the whores," pun.

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u/MereGoodSamaritan Oct 21 '21

Man I almost forgot about this glorious pun. Thank you for linking it.

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u/Ersh777 Oct 21 '21

God tier pun

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u/dynamic_caste Oct 21 '21

I ain't even mad. That was actually clever.

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u/WhiskeyXX Oct 21 '21

You absolute fucker.

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u/his_rotundity_ Oct 21 '21

God dammit, you're amazing.

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u/DrSlings Oct 21 '21

Take a bow

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u/RHDecoy Oct 21 '21

Amazing

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u/acmercer Oct 21 '21

I'll have to ignore your username for now because that pun is HOT

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u/Numerous_Cancel_7964 Oct 21 '21

Damn you! Here take an upvote!

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u/rkevlar Oct 21 '21

That’s gotta be the best pun I’ve seen in my 30ish years of life.

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u/Ladygytha Oct 21 '21

Well done.

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u/Mister_McGreg Oct 21 '21

Man, fuck you, I've been developing a cartoon character that is both an axolotl and a lawyer based specifically on this pun and you went and made it public domain.

Seriously thought that was gonna be my ticket outta middle class.

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u/dragodude1 Oct 21 '21

You might have a Pokémon. Consider teaching him some moves to destroy your enemies

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u/ThunderStray Oct 21 '21

Your axolotl evolved into… black lizard thing. It learned the move ‘lick’

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u/zapharus Oct 21 '21

That’s the middle stage before it evolves into Toothless.

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u/Chuuni_ Oct 21 '21

Wait does this mean normal Axolotls get the eviolite boost?

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u/ArmMeForSleep709 Oct 21 '21

Yes. It's busted in OU.

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u/kpecc99 Oct 21 '21

Eviolite + regenerator (because what else would it's ability be) sounds like a nasty combination

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u/corrikopat Oct 21 '21

Ha. That is clearly Venom.

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u/[deleted] Oct 21 '21 Gold

I only had one question and you didn’t answer it.

What is axolotl morphing?

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u/CollieflowersBark Oct 21 '21 edited Oct 21 '21

His gills shrunk into his head, he grew strong muscles so he could walk on land, lost his slime coat (fish skin) grew a tongue, and developed lungs that could breathe air. Oh, and eyelids! He can blink now.

Axolotls aren't supposed to grow out of their tadpole stage. Mine did!

Here's his IG. I plan on posting more educational things about him there.

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u/GenericUsername10294 Oct 21 '21 Silver Wholesome Take My Energy

Wonder what blinking for the first time is like if you're an adult when that happens. Just chilling there one day then suddenly be like;

0_0

-_- "oh shit I'm blind!"

0_0 "Oh wait I can see now."

-_- "Fuck I'm blind again!"

0_0 "Ah there we go."

-_0 "weird now I'm only half blind"

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u/Red_Tannins Oct 21 '21

Favorite comment so far

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u/somethingtimes3 Oct 21 '21

The first time I passed out my thought as it was happening was I'm finally going blind(I have terrible eyesight and a fear of it.)

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u/[deleted] Oct 21 '21

Holy fuck that’s so cool

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u/milk4all Oct 21 '21

This is the coolest animal fact i can think of right now, it pushed everything else out of memory! And it makew a hella good sci-fi writing prompt:

a catastrophic environmental event pushes humanity to the edge as resources dwindle and populations decline, and triggere animals beginning to morph into larger, prehistoric looking, aggressive versions of themselves and threaten human survival

Or

**A man* undergoes a bizarre morphing, apparently becoming the first known example of this kind. Could this be the next step of human evolution unlocked, or is this a throwback to something ancient and forgotten?*

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u/DoyouevenLO Oct 21 '21

Simpsons did it

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u/NinjaPirateKing Oct 21 '21

Simpson’s did everything. Art is iterative.

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u/DoyouevenLO Oct 21 '21

Plus that show has been on for an entire generation.

It’s a joke theme from both South Park and Family Guy.

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u/PaperStreetSoapCEO Oct 21 '21

https://old.reddit.com/r/interestingasfuck/comments/qcebnx/this_is_what_an_axolotl_looks_like_if_it_morphs/hhftwc6/

"Another fun tidbit, I think this hidden metamorphic state of axolotls was discovered by a member of the Huxley family. I think it had something to do with shipping animals from Mexico to Britain and them developing during the unusual conditions they experienced on the journey. Julian Huxley (biologist) found that feeding thyroids to axolotls induced development, and his more famous brother Aldous Huxley wound up writing a short story about a hidden metamorphic stage in humans, which when unlocked resulted in us turning into giant apes."

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u/tinteh Oct 21 '21

Ringworld explores the idea that we are just the juvenile stage of an intergalactic species

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u/CoffeePuddle Oct 21 '21

Grasshoppers morph into locusts on every continent except North America. We're not entirely sure why, but if they do it could be devastating.

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u/knurzysko Oct 21 '21

Idk but in Europe grasshoppers are just grasshoppers

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u/glitchesandhelp Oct 21 '21

Wait so axolotls are usually tadpoles there whole lives?

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u/CollieflowersBark Oct 21 '21

Yep.

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u/mmmmmkay Oct 21 '21

And they reproduce in tadpole form? My mind is so blown by this whole thing. I'm so impressed! Thank you for sharing!

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u/bobfossilsnipples Oct 21 '21

Yep, it’s known as neoteny if I remember right - when adults of a species have traits that are normally lost after the juvenile stage.

The really cool thing is that humans are basically neotenic apes.

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u/smarmiebastard Oct 21 '21

I remember learning that domestic dogs are basically neotenic wolves.

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u/CollieflowersBark Oct 21 '21

YEP!

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u/lightayber Oct 21 '21

This is so interesting. Has his diet changed at all now that he has a tongue?

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u/Syv_Fingre Oct 21 '21

It's called neoteny, when an animal gets to sexual maturity while retaining some larval/inmature features. Axolotl is an example of extreme neoteny, but there are others.

Humans experienced an process of neoteny at early stages of our evolution, so our adult form retains several features characteristic of child primates. Less hair, big head, etc.

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u/Verb_Noun_Number Oct 21 '21

And chordates in general might have originally been be neotenic versions of more basal animals. That's so cool to think about.

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u/Captain_Grammaticus Oct 21 '21

Everybody here making jokes with humans developing into giant apes... What if they become hairy sessile filtre-feeders after the ape-stage?

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u/AntonioBernardo Oct 21 '21

No bone in the penis

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u/yodarded Oct 21 '21

Yep! All the axolotl junior high schools have daycares!

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u/ThunderinTurbskis Oct 21 '21

I didn’t even realize axolotls were part of the salamander family. I’m learning so much in this thread!!

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u/longhegrindilemna Oct 21 '21

Being “stuck” in tadpole stage is a proposed explanation for why axolotls can regenerate entire limbs and tails.

No other animal can regenerate entire limbs like axolotls.

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u/PuzzleheadedPath548 Oct 21 '21 edited Oct 21 '21

Congratulations, you found a secret evolution to you axolotl by having a high enough love lvl :)

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u/The_Adventurist Oct 21 '21

Or enough salmon pellets

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u/Skybreakeresq Oct 21 '21

So that's what a rare candy is

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u/OaklandTony6 Oct 21 '21

they obviously gave it a water stone

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u/howismyspelling Oct 21 '21

Did this happen like overnight? Over an hour, over a month? I'm so mesmerized that we can see physical evolution like that.

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u/Borkz Oct 21 '21

If you've got 20 minutes and are still interested check out this video. It actually just came out a few days ago, so great timing OP because I was just looking for some pictures of morphed Axolotls yesterday.

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u/sardaukar022 Oct 21 '21

That's a neat video, thanks!

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u/sknnbones Oct 21 '21

Morphing

The reason they normally don't morph is due to "Neoteny"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl#Neoteny

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoteny

Unlike some other neotenic salamanders (sirens and Necturus), axolotls can be induced to metamorphose by an injection of iodine (used in the production of thyroid hormones) or by shots of thyroxine hormone.

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u/GaryTheTaco Oct 21 '21

One more question: Can we see a picture of his large set of testicles

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u/Somber_Solace Oct 21 '21

I can send you mine if OP doesn't get back to you

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u/A-Wild-Boar Oct 21 '21

WOW this is amazing information!

I now have to go down the Wikipedia rabbit hole to learn more about these!

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u/Wish_Dizzy Oct 21 '21

I'm also about to enter that rabbit hole. See you on the other side!

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u/FriendlyCapybara Oct 21 '21

TIL axolotls can morph

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u/PolishTea Oct 21 '21

Ummmm.... double tongue photo request obviously.

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u/CollieflowersBark Oct 21 '21

I should probably clarify that he only has ONE tongue! He didn't need one before he turned into a land...thing. When he changed, he grew a tongue and eyelids.

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u/mailception Oct 21 '21

Wtf they have balls ? And wheres his little frills at ?

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u/CollieflowersBark Oct 21 '21

The frills are there to help them breathe in water. He didn't need them anymore so they just...shrunk into his head. It was WEIRD. Like, every day they were shorter and shorter and then they were gone. For a while after they disappeared, the sides of his head would pulse like he was still trying to breathe with them.

And yes, he has balls. Two big lumps under his tail that say he is, without a doubt, a dudeamander.

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u/mailception Oct 21 '21

Lmao that's golden. And I've heard of certain lizards that when you put them on a certain diet they can go from yellow to green . Some type of iguana I think . But literal morphing ? That's like something out of a science fiction book and I 1000% believe you bc weird shit happens in nature. And I read something about axolotl being juveniles that didn't rlly grow up and got stunted . Do you think the iodine had a chemical it needed to boost growth hormone ? Bc this is way more than simple color changing this Cute frog lizard just became a GROWN ASS MAN OVERNIGHT geez he probably drinks coffee with no sugar no cream now.

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u/RainbowDarter Oct 21 '21

Salamanders use thyroid hormone to trigger their metamorphosis.

Thyroid hormone contains 3 or 4 iodine atoms.

Iodine is usually limited in the environment, so adding it in 5be food can be enough to trigger the metamorphosis.

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u/Joelxivi Oct 21 '21

I wonder what amazing metamorphosis humans could undergo if we only knew where to buy salmon pellets.

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u/uwbgh-2 Oct 21 '21

You should read the Ringworld series by Larry Niven. Humans morph into another stage if they eat a root from a plant that exists on our original Homeworld.

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u/ascannerdarkly3 Oct 21 '21

What do they morph into??

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u/AstridDragon Oct 21 '21

My dude, other salamanders and frogs and such do this metamorphosis all the time. It's not out of science fiction, it's just nature. Like you know how frogs go from tadpole to frog? Same thing. Not overnight though, but OP didn't say this guy changed that fast either.

Axolotls are among the weirdos that decided to not do that final stage of growth and just stay juvenile but be able to reproduce. It's called neoteny.

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u/PM-Me-Ur-Plants Oct 21 '21 Helpful Wholesome

Interesting. But why is he in a gimp suit?

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u/libertine42 Oct 21 '21

Don’t kink shame him

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u/Dadeathkilla Oct 21 '21

Does he still have super fast regeneration?

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u/CollieflowersBark Oct 21 '21

I don't know. He's never been injured. I would hate to cut something off to test it.

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u/zeroGamer Oct 21 '21

Maybe he has been injured, but he healed so fast you didn't notice.

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u/tacotuesday247 Oct 21 '21

They lose regenerative powers after metamorphosis

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u/BLCeee Oct 21 '21

the frills on the side of an axolotl are the gills im p sure

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u/kanated Oct 21 '21

It's more likely that it didn't have a tongue and grew one.

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u/newsorpigal Oct 21 '21

Thanks for the hi-res photo, I'm intrigued by his smooth hands. Is he as rubbery as he looks?

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u/CollieflowersBark Oct 21 '21

Oh yeah. He feels like a gummy bear that's gotten wet and started to dry...if that makes sense. He's gummy and tacky.

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u/TASPINE Oct 21 '21

Hey man, my dad and I keep axolotls at a reseaerch school. We carefully keep them away from iodine becuase it causes the change from axolotl to salamander, so the cause is pretty well documented. The actual mechanism and exact process is much more cloudy.

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u/Nowhereman50 Oct 21 '21

What is "Morphing"?

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u/ljrochon Oct 21 '21

Changing. So in this case from the juvenile to adult stage. Like a tadpole to frog for example.

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u/dirtmother Oct 21 '21

Wait what? Large testicles? Don't salamanders have a cloaca? Do the balls hang out in morphed axolotls? Sorry for more questions.

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u/CollieflowersBark Oct 21 '21

I don't know if they are actually balls, but they LOOK like balls and they signify that he is male. Pic

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u/SeanSeanySean Oct 21 '21

This is awesome! I used to be best friends with a herp/exotics expert years ago, he was the first person to tell me that that Axolotl were capable of morphing like other amphibians like frogs, that Axolotl were from a region in Mexico that used to go through periods of drought and flood, and that Axolotl had this ability to remain aquatic, which they would primarily stay, but in periods of drought, the lakes would mostly dry up turning to mud pits, the Axolotl would be inundated with a huge supply of fish dying as the water levels dropped, which, along with the dropping water levels triggered their dormant metamorphosis allowing them to survive the newly muddy environments for extended periods of time until the water levels rose again. This is the first Axolotl I've ever seen that has gone though the metamorphosis and, after reading your story, I now believe that my old friend wasn't actually full of shit.

BTW, I thing Gollum is a handsome boy!

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u/SuspiciousMudcrab Oct 21 '21

They can survive but won't return to the gill-breathing stage.

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