Axolotls live in two freshwater lakes in the middle of Mexico City. Expanding human populations compete for this freshwater resource, with pollution contributing to this salamander’s decline. Researchers are trying to help the axolotl by building “shelters” in Xochimilico with stacks of rocks and reedy plants to help filter clean water that is pumped in.
Wild axolotls are typically dark in color. They have the ability to shift their hue a few shades lighter or darker as needed for camouflage! Pink and light-colored animals are bred in human care as pets.
Fun Fact: The word “axolotl” comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs and means “water dog.” Its mythological connection is to Xolotl, the god of fire, lightning, deformities, and death