Some may say ‘freaky’ looking; I personally think it’s the most adorable sea animal ever! And sadly enough, I discovered it because their status on earth is ‘seriously threatened with extinction’ due to water pollution and destruction to its environment. Want a visual to help teach children about water preservation and helping our environment? Get ready…this creature is seriously cute.
Picture from Treehugger site:
There are several pictures on the Treehugger article about these animals and they look like they’re smiling in every shot! Their official name is the Axolotl salamander, otherwise known as the Mexican walking fish or Mexican water monster. The Axolotl has been listed endangered on the annual list from the International Union for Conservation of Nature, but researchers now say it could disappear within 5 years. Millions once existed in lakes where Mexico City was built, but between draining lakes to create city growth and with pumping waste-water into waterways, things have changed for this animal.
According to the Yahoo News/Associated Press:
“If the axolotl disappears, it would not only be a great loss to biodiversity but to Mexican culture, and would reflect the degeneration of a once-great lake system,” says Luis Zambrano, a biologist at the Autonomous University of, or UNAM. The number of axolotls (pronounced ACK-suh-LAH-tuhl) in the wild is not known. But the population has dropped from roughly 1,500 per square mile in 1998 to a mere 25 per square mile this year, according to a survey by Zambrano’s scientists using casting nets.
When I showed the pictures of the Axolotl to my children they shrieked and thought it looked like an alien, but at least it got their attention. I think it’s adorable and thought it might remind us what cute little creatures are affected by our decisions with habitat destruction and water pollution. Show this to your children and see what they think.