UniquePetsWiki is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Are Axolotls Smart?

With the increasing interest in keeping axolotls as pets, a key question many people have is whether these cute salamanders are smart or not.

Given the fact that the smartness of a pet partly determines its ability to bond with the owner, this is a valid concern.

This article tackles some of the key aspects of axolotl smartness. Prospective and new axolotl owners will know the behaviors to expect from their pets with regards to their intellectual ability.

Are Axolotls Smart?

Salamanders, like most amphibians, may not be the most highly developed reptiles, but they are definitely smarter than fish.

Being fragile and physically delicate, axolotls in particular, don’t hunt. They sit strategically in specific locations and wait for prey to swim by. 

Whether this is a measure of their smartness or not, what is clear is the axolotl’s survival instinct given its physical limitations.

Ability to survive in such circumstances is a good indication of axolotl smartness.

two axolotls looking at each other

Can Axolotls Recognize Their Owners?

A number of owners swear that their pets can recognise and react to their presence. Many others believe that due to their poor eyesight, axolotls may not know how to differentiate human beings.

Nevertheless, what is clear is that they are smart and can quickly learn from the activities ongoing around their aquarium.

For instance, when you feed them the first time, they may not really think much about it, but will obviously be grateful for being fed.

However, when you maintain a feeding routine, they will associate human presence near the tank with their feeding. 

When they are hand-fed, they will gradually start to follow your finger whenever you dip your hands into the water, which is another sign of smartness.

Also read: Do Axolotl Like Humans?

Can Axolotls Recognize Their Food?

With their poor vision, axolotls depend a lot on their senses to recognize food, and this involves meticulous use of brain power.

In addition, their physical limitations compromise hunting, and are therefore quick to snap at anything that comes close to them.

Their sense of smell is also strong, and they use it to locate food, sniffing around in their vicinity until they chance on something edible.

two axolotls are living together

Can Axolotls Recognize Their Predators?

Yes. Axolotls are perfectly capable of profiling potential predators, and this is an interesting quality because they also prey on each other

In the wild, some of their most feared predators include storks, carps, herons and even humans.

To keep safe, axolotls mostly stay close to the bottom of lakes during the day and actively come near the surface at night.

When domesticated in an aquarium, the axolotl darts pretty fast across the water when sensing a predator. 

Since they do not have complex, physical defense mechanisms,they rely on their speed and smartness to sense danger and make it out in good time.

Can Axolotls Do Any Tricks?

Unfortunately, axolotls are not known to do many tricks. It is highly likely that your pet’s playfulness will appear to be nothing more than expected behavior in an aquarium.

Swimming around in the tank and rising to the surface of the water may well be their idea of tricks.

Nevertheless, they may also try to engage with you by swimming towards your direction when near the tank, swimming near your fingers if you dip them in the water, or nibbling them during feeding times. 

As has been already intimated, these actions are not close to what would be considered to be pet tricks.

Aihotim Aquarium Decoration

Sale
Aihotim Aquarium Decoration, Fish Tank Ornaments Shipwreck Decor Sunken Ship for Freshwater Saltwater Tanks
  • Size Measures--This shipwreck decor size about 5.5*2.1*4.3’’(L*W*H), so it will fit easily in almost any home fish tank. Perfectly size for a 3 gallon to 20 gallon aquariums.
  • Made Of Safe And Durable Resin--This fish tank sunken ship is crafted with great attention to detail, safe for freshwater and saltwater aquariums, also it won't fade when the time goes long. The aquarium ornament shipwreck has a sturdy base, you don’t need to worry about it floating around once you place it underwater.
  • Decorate Your Aquarium--The realistic sunken shipwreck decorations painted with detail and colors, increase the natural scenery in your fish tank. Impress guests and give realistic feel and excitement, this fun aquarium decoration will add magic instantly to your tank!
  • Easy To Maintain--Just use a soft brush to wash away dirt in clean water. It won't have any effect on the water quality, also won't rot. NOT need take a lot of time to maintain it.
  • Stable Packing--Each aquarium ship ornaments is carefully packed to ensure that it is complete without flawed and perfectly delivered to your hands. If any problems just feel free to contact us at any time.

Last update on 2022-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs

Are axolotls friendly?

This may depend on the axolotl’s personality, but is determined a lot by how much you interact with them. Axolotls are known to react to human presence near their tanks, especially if such presence is associated with their usual feeding.

If you feed them by hand, they are likely to form the habit of following your fingers throughout the aquarium when you dip your hands in the water. 

Also read: Are Axolotls Aggressive?

Do axolotls smile?

Yes! These pet salamanders do smile, and they do so in the form of a wide grin that stretches across their faces.

However, there are those who believe that the wide grin is more of a permanent facial feature than a smile.

Also read: How to Tell If Your Axolotl Is Happy

What is an axolotl’s life span?

Axolotls are known to live anything between 10 to 15 years, though with very good care, some can surpass this mark and hit 20. 

Can axolotls go on land?

No. Axolotls cannot live or walk on land. Water is their natural habitat unlike other amphibian species which can spend part of their time on land.

Some Thought

Each animal has its own special intelligence, and this is usually an element of adaptation to its specific environment.

For axolotls, recognition of their owners, especially based on the fondness that grows during feeding times, is a strong element of smartness. 

This is because they are able to link their owner’s presence to provision of food, and as a result, they respond positively to subsequent visits near their tanks.

Moreover, given the fact that they are not physically strong or visually powerful, they rely on their senses to get their food and to stay safe from predators.

This is another critical aspect of smartness, especially because intensive use of an organism’s senses is connected to their brain.

About UniquePetsWiki

UniquePetsWiki is the preferred educational source on pets favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. With hundreds of articles on everything pertaining to pets including reptiles, squirrels, and other pets, our experienced team provides reliable and accurate content you can trust.

From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, UniquePetsWiki is here to educate everyone on all pets concerns.

Disclaimer

UniquePetsWiki is not a veterinary website, nor should any of the reptile health information on our site replace the advice of a certified veterinary professional. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced veterinarian immediately.

UniquePetsWiki is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.