Yesterday, the Zoological Society of London launched the Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) Amphibians Web site. The site is part of the larger "Edge of Existence" conservation program started awhile back, focused on endangered species that have few living relatives and are morphologically or behaviorally unique. As its creators put it, EDGE sets out to save "the weirdest and most wonderful species on the planet." (Check out the EDGE's blog.)
And boy are these frogs weird. Take the axolotl, (that's ACK-suh-LAH-tuhl, pictured above) the foot-long "water monster" native to Mexico. Unlike other salamanders, axolotls keep their larval features—like external gills and a dorsal fin—and always stay under water. EDGE hopes to protect the axolotl living in the Xochimilco and Chalco canals near Mexico City.