Scientists from the UK and Hungary have discovered a species of blind underwater salamander (Olm) in a cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During a life span longer than 100 years, they hardly eat, move, or even mate.
Proteus anguinus is the only cave vertebrate found in Europe. This is the only species of the genus Proteus. In contrast to most amphibians, it completely lives underwater and eats, sleeps, and breeds underwater. This species lives in caves found in the Dinaric Alps and is endemic to the vast limestone waters of the limestone karsts of central and southeastern Europe, especially southern Slovenia, SOCA river basins near Trieste (Italy), southwestern Croatia and Herzegovina.
Gergely Balázs, a PhD student at the University of Roland, Hungary and colleagues have been studying the species since 2010. Balázs and divers have continuously dived into the Gorica region. In the Vruljak cave in Rebinje, dozens of adult salamanders with body lengths greater than 20 cm have been studied through marking.
Proteus anguinus, also known as blind newts, blind salamanders, is an amphibian with a body length of 20 to 30 cm and a maximum length of 40 cm, is the only organism of the Proteus anguinus family in Chau. Europe and the only cave salamander in Europe.
These blind salamanders are also sometimes referred to as “human fish” because their skin color is similar to that of humans. In Slovenia, it is also known by the name močeril. It was first mentioned in 1689 by a local naturalist Valvasor in the Glory National Park of Carniola reports that after heavy rain a thunderstorm was swept up from the groundwater and left people. The locals believe they see young cave dragons.
The results of the study showed that this cave salamander reduced its living activities to a minimum. Most of the individuals moved less than 10 meters for several years, and the farthest fish moved as far as 38 meters, and there were even some individuals lying immobile in the water for 7 years.
According to the scientists’ research, these blind animals live in the shadow of “Hanadu” in the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina to escape the hunt of predators, but at the same time this also makes them encounter it was very difficult to get food and eventually they chose to evolve in ways to reduce their living activities to as low as possible.
This creature is most notable for its adaptation to a life of darkness. Their eyes have deteriorated, while other senses, especially smell and hearing, are highly developed. It also lacks pigmentation on the skin. The forelimbs have three fingers and the hind limbs only have two It also exhibits pediatric manifestations, with adults having larval features such as gills, similar to the Mexican salamander in the Americas.
In such environments, cave newts have to slow down their metabolism and live only on small shrimps and snails they accidentally catch – this is the only food they can find by hearing. his acumen. According to the scientists, Axolotl’s metabolism is so slow that it is equivalent to eating only one meal in 10 years!
In order to survive in an environment that lacks food, these salamanders have to slow down their metabolism and live only on small shrimps and snails that they accidentally catch – this is also the only food source. that they can be found in that habitat. According to scientists, the metabolism of Proteus anguinus species is so slow that it equates to about 10 years apart with each meal.
Proteus anguinus is a recognized subspecies of mangroves, it is endemic to groundwater near Črnomelj, Slovenia, an area of less than 100 square kilometers. It was first found in 1986 by members of the Slovenian Karst Research Institute who discovered water from the Dobličice spring limestone in the White Carniola region.
Of course, slow metabolism is not unhealthy, the blind salamander can last up to a century. However, the downside of this is quite clear, this salamander is very difficult to establish mating relationships with each other, because they are almost not moving, so the chance for them to meet is also very difficult. According to the calculations of the scientists, the average time for each mating time is 12 or 5 years and perhaps this is also the only motivation for them to move or need to move. Therefore, the nature of this animal’s life lies not in hard work and vigor, but in composure and carelessness.