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Meet Aristotle

Meet Aristotle: A special guest for our exhibition 'The Book of Hopes'

Inspired by Catherine Johnson's poem 'The Axolotl at Bedtime' which is included in the book that inspired our new exhibition, 'The Book of Hopes', we are delighted to welcome a very special guest to The Story Museum - Aristotle, our very own axolotl!

Thank you to everyone who entered our competition to name the axolotl and congratulations to Isobel whose suggestion was selected by Catherine Johnson.

More about axolotls

Axolotls are amphibians that live underwater. They are unusual because they do not undergo metamorphosis like most other amphibians and instead spend their whole lives in a tadpole-like form.

In the wild, axolotls live in only one place - the lakes of Xochimilco in Mexico - and they are critically endangered due to the impacts of human inhabitation in nearby Mexico City.

They are named after an Aztec God called Xolotl. He was the God of fire and lightning and also of monsters. But axolotls are far from scary. Just look at his smile and pink feathery gills!

They are popular pets, have thousands of dedicated followers on social media and even feature in Minecraft. Axolotls are also used for scientific research due to their amazing regenerative ability; they can grow new limbs and internal organs in a matter of months. How’s that for a demonstration of resilience and creativity?!

You can find out more about this fascinating creature here.

Our axolotl has been loaned, along with everything he needs to be happy and healthy, by World of Water in Swindon for the duration of the Book of Hopes exhibition. He is cared for by our team with advice from the knowledgeable staff at World of Water.

Common name Axolotl
Scientific name
Ambystoma mexicanum
Molluscs, worms, insect larvae, crustaceans and small fish
Average life span
10-15 years
Up to 30cm
Up to 225gsm
Favourite stories
Axolotl finds a bottle by Lesley Sims, illustrated by David Semple
Naked mole rat gets dressed by Mo Willems
Who are you calling weird? A celebration of weird and wonderful animals by Marilyn Singer

World of Water

We are extremely grateful to World of Water for loaning us our axolotl along with his tank and special equipment he needs to keep happy and healthy.

World of Water has, for many years, been the premier aquatic company in the Swindon area. Their knowledgeable and dedicated staff strive to provide their customers with the best aquatic products at the lowest prices.