Tale Of Two Axolotls, A [Discovery]

Episodes

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01The Aztec Salamander2018071620180717 (WS)
20180722 (WS)
Victoria Gill tells the extraordinary story of the Mexican axolotl: an amphibian that is both a cultural icon and a biomedical marvel. In its domesticated form, the aquatic salamander is a valuable laboratory animal and a popular pet around the world. But in the wild, the species is on the very edge of extinction. Victoria visits one of its last hold-outs among the polluted canals in the south of Mexico City, where she meets the scientists and farmers working to save it.

Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker

Picture: Street Art, Credit: BBC

Saving a cultural icon and biomedical marvel from extinction.

Explorations in the world of science.

02The Nun's Salamander2018072320180724 (WS)
20180729 (WS)
A convent of Mexican nuns is helping to save the one of the world's most endangered and most remarkable amphibians: the axolotl, a truly bizarre creature of serious scientific interest worldwide and an animal of deep-rooted cultural significance in Mexico.

The Sisters of Immaculate Health rarely venture out of their monastery in the central Mexican town of Patzcuaro. Yet they have become the most adept and successful breeders of their local species of this aquatic salamander. Scientists marvel at their axolotl-breeding talents and are now working with them to save the animal from extinction. BBC News science correspondent Victoria Gill is allowed into the convent to discover at least some of the nun's secrets.

Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker

Picture: Lake Patzcuaro axolotl Credit: Credit the picture Will Condliffe, Chester Zoo

Why are Mexican nuns breeding a rare salamander? Could they save this remarkable species?

Explorations in the world of science.