No wonder he's happy! Smiling salamander threatened with extinction becomes star attraction at Austrian aquarium


Happy fish: This smiling Axolotl salamander is the star attraction at Aquaria Fun Park in Austria

This rare Axolotl salamander has a reason to smile after he was welcomed by visitors as the star attraction at the Aquaria Fun Park in Austria.
Unlike his relatives he has not ended up struggling to escape pollution back home in Mexico or being experimented on in a lab where they are a much sought after research object.
They have been almost wiped out in the wild due to pollution and the fact they are widely regarded as a tasty delicacy.

With its odd smile and translucent body this creature could be mistaken for a young cousin of one of Doctor Who's adversaries

The International Union for Conservation of Nature's annual red list of threatened species lists only two lakes still known to have specimens.
In captivity they are also popular - but unlike this lucky specimen it is mainly in laboratories where they are prized for their ability to grow new limbs.

It was regarded as a medical sensation when scientists discovered the Axolotl can not only fully regenerate limbs but also internal organs, including its spine and part of its brain.
Scientists believe the animal could eventually hold the key to human limb regeneration.
But safe in his home at the aquarium in Steinerkirchen an der Traun in Austria this Axolotl has a few things to be grateful for.
The Axolotl is not the only animal which likes to crack a smile.
With its odd smile and translucent body, the semi-transparent Thornback ray has a ghostly smile.

source: dailymail