Do Axolotls Have Teeth?
Axolotl are such cute creatures that it seems ridiculous for them to be aggressive! There seems to be no rhyme and reason for aggression considering the absence of claws, talons, and the like. But you will be surprised!
Do axolotls have teeth? Yes, axolotl have teeth. They have teeth on their upper and lower jaws.
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Read on to find out more about axolotl teeth, including their appearance and function. We will also look at the ways that you can deal with axolotl bites.
They Have Small And Dull Teeth
The teeth of axolotls are small with little to no protruding edges. Unless you look at their mouths up close, you likely won’t see their teeth! But they are indeed present and have a function despite their small size.
But their teeth aren’t sharp, not by a long shot. For this reason, axolotls use their teeth only for gripping food instead of tearing it apart or chewing on it. They eat their food by opening their mouths wide and sucking it in along with water.
Trivia: Did you know that the scientific name for axolotls, Ambystoma mexicanum, translates to “cup mouth from Mexico”? It’s a reflection of the axolotls’ feeding habits.
Their Food Should be Small, Too
Because of the unique structure of their teeth, axolotls can only eat food that will fit into their mouth. Large pieces of food can become stuck in their gastrointestinal tract and cause health issues.
These include indigestion, constipation, and, worse, impaction that, in turn, result in distress.
With this in mind, it’s essential to feed your axolotls with small pieces of food that they can easily swallow. While axolotls in the wild will eat whatever’s available, axolotls in tanks require more care, food-wise.
Reminders When Feeding Axolotls
- Give them a meat-based diet – Axolotls prefer foods such as small crustaceans and fish, tadpoles, worms, insects, and live daphnia, which can be bought at pet stores. Sinking salmon pellets, such as Zoo Med Aquatic Newt Food, are also healthy options for them.
- Chop their food into smaller pieces – Do this when feeding them foods like earthworms, fish, and crustaceans. It’s usually necessary to wash the soil and dirt off earthworms.
- Avoid overfeeding them – Axolotls usually need feeding once every 2 to 3 days, which is sufficient time for them to digest their food. (Feeding them more than necessary can cause trapped gas, constipation and bowel obstruction)
You must also avoid feeding your axolotls with your hand! You can get bitten, and your pets can become injured.
You probably won’t feel any pain from being bitten because their teeth aren’t sharp. But you can become scared by your axolotls’ ferocity during the attack. You may suddenly yank back your hand and, thus, hurt them.
If you get bitten, you should wash the bitten finger with mild soap and water. Then, apply an antiseptic like Neosporin Original First Aid Antibiotic Ointment for safety reasons. Both the axolotls and the water they live in can carry salmonella bacteria.
Your axolotls’ teeth are rubbery, small, and without jagged edges, so you’re safe even when you’re bitten. But it’s still essential to avoid being bitten by using tweezers, if necessary when giving them food.