Complete summary of Julio Cortazar’s Axolotl. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Axolotl. AXOLOTL Source for information on Axolotl by Julio Cortázar, Reference Guide to Short Fiction dictionary. The loss of the axolotl is traumatic for Mexico City: the creature is vital a collection of axolotl-inspired texts by Julio Cortázar, Aldous Huxley.

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L ike coryazar residents of Mexico City, my experience of the floating gardens of Xochimilco has mostly been tinged with alcohol. But this is a weekday morning, and Carlos Sumano, who is steering my canoe through the floating gardens, or chinampas, says that sort of unfettered use has taken its toll on the ecosystem.

During his six years working in Xochimilco, Sumano has come across everything from pushchairs to television sets in canals. When the Aztecs established themselves in the nearby city of Tenochtitlan, they found in Xochimilco what appeared to be the larva of a salamander.

Since then, the fates of the axolotl and Mexico Coryazar have been tragically tied.

From onwards, various canal construction and valley drainage attempts were undertaken and byXochimilco was completely dry. Pollution comes from the plant, but also from local residents, who use it as a sewer, and those who still farm the floating gardens using water-contaminating pesticides.


The wild axolotl is racing towards extinction. A study in Xochimilco by the Mexican Academy of Sciences found an cortaar of 6, axolotls for each sq km; the latest survey, inhas that number down to The loss of the axolotl is traumatic for Mexico City: Murals and graffiti depicting the animal are ubiquitous: This aspect has confounded biologists. Inthe naturalist Alexander Humboldt was so excited by the species during his trip to Mexico City that he brought live specimens overseas and exhibited the creature at a scientific conference in Paris.

Axolotl – Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding 18

Since then, the animal has been bred cortazad in home aquariums and laboratories around the world. Today the axolotl is studied for its ability to rebuild body parts and the recently revealed fact that it has the longest known DNA strand.

Zambrano leads a project called Refugio Chinampa seeking to bring the animal back to its natural habitat.

In the s, as part of a nationwide poverty-relief project, the Mexican government introduced thousands of carp to Xochimilco. Hundreds were dumped into the canals. He sighs as we pass through a floating garden that had been turned into a soccer field: This means not only agreeing to the digging of a new canal, but also committing to not using pesticides. Barrero believes a change is coming from a younger generation of chinamperos seeking to apply the ecologically conscious agricultural practices of their forefathers, but that it will take time.


At the canal, he excitedly jumps into his canoe and puts his hand inside the water to show me molluscs, worms and other creatures — proof of the quality of the habitat. The process of conditioning a canal for axolotls can take more than a year and involves careful building of a micro-ecosystem from the bottom up, from flora to fauna.

Once the conditions are correct, a lab axolotl is released into this restored wilderness. Thanks to the healthy ecosystem Barrero enthusiastically demonstrates to me, this has already happened in his canal: All the same, heading home among the early-morning tourist boats starting to make their way through the canals, the only fish I see are tilapia. Follow Guardian Cities on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to join the discussion, and explore our archive here.

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Axolotls in crisis: the fight to save the ‘water monster’ of Mexico City

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