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Mexico 'water monster' gone: Mexico's salamander-like axolotl vanishes from lake

Photo of Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco
Photo of Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) at the Steinhart Aquarium in San FranciscoWikimedia Commons User Stan Shebs

Mexico "water monster" disappearances are causing environmentalists to take notice. The Mexico "water monster" is how it is referred, but the animal is a salamander-like axolotl. According to a report from Tuesday (Jan. 28), it may have now disappeared from its known natural habitat. Known as a critically endangered species, there are only a few lakes left that have been home to the animal recently.

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The Associated Press stated that the only natural habitat remaining for the "Mexican walking fish" is Lake Xochimilco, which is suffering from pollution and urban sprawl. Apparently scientists have been trying for the past three months to find one of the creatures in the lake but the hunt has been unsuccessful. This has led to the rumor that the animal has now gone extinct in the wild.

There are now plans by Biologist Luis Zambrano of Mexico's National Autonomous University to go on another search for the Mexico "water monster" in a second three-month search. The only confirmed locations where the axolotl resides are in aquariums, labs, and breeding tanks. That won't stop the scientists from trying to determine if the species has found a new place to survive in Lake Xochimilco.

These neotenic salamanders are commonly about nine inches long, but can grow to as much as 18 inches in some cases. It is due to the growth of Mexico City that they have become so endangered and biologists have been trying hard to find a way to keep the species from going extinct.

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