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With a royal dignity, the golden eagle rules the mountains and valleys that lie under the shadow of her wings. The golden eagle is the national symbol dating back to the foundation of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, where legend has it that the eagle stood on a cactus devouring a snake. For the Aztecs, the eagle is a disguise used by the sun, "the heavenly body giver of life and source of light". When taking flight, its wingspan forms a cross that points to the four cardinal, cosmic directions, thus becoming itself the axis mundi, the center of the world. In Mexico, the Golden Eagle lives mainly in the Northern States.