The bizarre and adorable aquatic salamander called the axolotl has been enticing collectors and scientists for centuries. But it's now dwindling in its native habitat around Mexico City.
The unique salamander is restricted to only a few canals around Mexico City, thanks to centuries of development and pollution, and scientists warn that it could entirely disappear by 2020, reports a feature article in the September edition of National Geographic Magazine-Latin America.
Revered by the Aztecs, the axolotl (ACK-suh-LAH-tuhl) is unusual among salamanders in that the adults retain large external gills. The creatures also have a remarkable ability to generate lost body parts.
The salamander once made its home in the interconnected lakes that filled the basin of Tenochtitlan, where Mexico City