|Cast of Ahuizotl Stone Plaque, Aztec|
The Ahuizotl is linked to an Aztec emperor of the same name, who probably took his moniker from the creature. He ruled when the civilization was prosperous, and before the coming of the Spaniards. Montezuma, the emperor at the time of first contact, was Ahuizotl's nephew and successor. His tomb made news when it was discovered by archaeologists in 2007.
Like most mythical beasts, the Ahuizotl probably has some basis in fact. Due to the descriptions provided from the Florentine Codex and other primary source documents, the smooth, shiny, small-eared, long-tailed, handed creature may have been an otter. Otters possess most of those traits (minus the hand tail and stealing human nails and teeth of course) and could most certainly be the basis for the Ahuizotl myth.