Crackling cookie crumbs!
Mexico has water monsters and you won't believe it, but we think they're kind of cute!! If you don't believe me, take a look at one of these amazing little guys in the picture below:
Scientists thought the axlotl had disappeared from the muddy lakes and streams in Mexico, but a team of researchers found two axlotls hiding out in a lake bottom. The axlotls are struggling to survive because people are building villages on the banks of the lakes and streams where they live. The villagers pollute the water and these little amphibians die. The animals are also eaten by carp, a type of fish that were let go in the lakes by villagers years ago.
Axlotls have gills, four legs and a long tail. They grow up to a foot long and although Mexican researchers nicknamed them "monsters", these little guys are completely harmless. Scientists are interested in studying the axlotls because these animals are able to regrow legs and tails when they are cut off.
Mexican scientists say between pollution, the threat of being eaten by carp and a lack of safe food to eat, axlotls are disappearing fast. The Mexican Academy of Sciences said scientists found 6,000 axolotls in an area of lakes in 1998, but only 1,000 in 2003 and only 100 in 2008. Scientists are trying to save the axlotls. They set up safe areas in many of the lakes and streams to keep out the carp that eat axlotls. The safe areas also have clean water pumped in and lots of healthy plants for the axlotls to eat. Hopefully, all these things will help keep Mexico's water monsters from becoming extinct.