Wikipedia: The [totally cute] axolotl, or Mexican salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a neotenic salamander, closely related to the tiger salamander.
Larvae of this species fail to undergo metamorphosis, so the adults remain aquatic and gilled.
It is also called ajolote [ɑːhɒˈlɔte] (which is also a common name for different types of salamander).
The species originates from numerous lakes, such as Lake Xochimilco underlying Mexico City.
Axolotls are used extensively in scientific research due to their ability to regenerate limbs.
They are also totally delicious when deep-fried in Osaka, Japan:
It came to the attention of our staff recently that there’s a restaurant down in Osaka that serves deep-fried axolotl. You know, the Mexican salamanders. The ones that had an enormous boom in popularity in the 1980s. the ones that are proudly kept in cool tanks as adorable pets. The ones that inspired the creation of the Pokémon, Wooper. Those axolotl!
Our sweet, little reporter Usagi didn’t realize that by bringing up the topic of eating axolotl she’s be asked to write an article about it, but that’s what happens when one introduces strange and interesting foods to our editors! It was time for our reporter to chow down on some deep-fried adorable salamanders.
The restaurant and pub selling axolotl is about a three minute walk from Shijounawate Station on the JR Gakkentoshi Line. Its name is Takara Yuki Sakebou (宝雪酒坊), with the kanji characters for Treasure Snow Drinking House.
Still doubting whether or not a restaurant could really expect people to eat an animal so cute, our brave reporter checked the signboard out front, but sure enough, axolotl was right there at the top of the list, served deep-fried for 1,300 yen (US$13). The rumors were true!