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Mexico water monster: Extinct from their 'natural' environment?

Mexico water monster.
Mexico water monster.
Commons Wikimedia

The Mexico water monster -- technically called the "axolotl"-- could actually be extinct from its "natural" environment. Scientists are learning that this unique, but not-so-attractive-looking fish, has so far disappeared from one of Mexico City's few remaining lakes, according to a USA Today report on Jan. 28.

Lake Xochimilco is the only natural habitat for the Mexico water monster, or "Mexican walking fish" as some refer to it. The fish is described in the report as having a "slimy tail, plumage-like gills and mouth that curls into an odd smile."

Why is this distinctive fish suffering in its natural environment? Scientists blame it on "pollution and urban sprawl." In the last three months to locate more of the species, Biologist Luis Zambrano of Mexico's National Autonomous University said they have not found one axolotl. Researchers are searching for the Mexico water monster, but so far no luck. The axolotls do still exist in labs and breeding tanks, the report added.

This is not good news when any species is rare or becomes extinct. This species of fish is not technically extinct if it still lives in labs or holding tanks, but it is not a natural environment for them by any means. The Mexico water monster could be viewed as an indicator species as to the state of its surroundings. Growing populations and major pollution will do significant damage over time. The results of that are being seen in this case.