Installation with axolotls, glass and various materials, 2014
The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a mexican salamander that keeps an aquatic larval form all life long, usually temporary in other species of amphibians. We call this caracteristic neoteny. Here it is an adaptation to a difficult environement. By never mutating to the terrestrian adult stage, the axolotl benefits from a stable habitat and exceptional regeneration capabilities.
Many other neotenic species exist. Among them, Homo sapiens.
The human being is a glabrous primate with short limbs and a gracile frame. Its big head shows foetal morphology, its face marqued with infantile features. It does not have the strong canines and the penis bone of its fellow great apes. It grows slowly and the human child stay vulnerable for a long time. It is likely that this specie selected these traits itself during its evolution, by favoring them in females in the end of optimizing fecundity. Today, although procreation isn’t an essential issue anymore, criteria for feminity are still conditioned by it.
Homo sapiens pair its neoteny with an outstanding and enterprising intellect. It likes the companionship of other animals that it made to its appearence: inoffensive felines, poney dolls, mini-pigs and other kawaii canines.
Evolution continues. Who knows where our neoteny will direct us?