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The strange blind salamander takes 10 years to eat, 12 years to mate but can live a century

Researchers have discovered a species of salamander with a very special ability that has stood still for a long time.

Olm or proteus (Proteus anguinus) is an underwater salamander from the Proteidae family which is a strange creature that has taken researchers from surprise to surprise.

Scientists from the UK and Hungary have discovered a species of underwater blind salamander (Olm) in a cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During a life of more than 100 years, they eat, move or even barely mate.


The Bosnia and Herzegovina Special Salamander can stand still for 7 years.

According to the new study published in the Journal of Zoology, the caves of Bosnia and Herzegovina remained dormant when observed in one place for 2,569 days.

According to the new study published in the Journal of Zoology, the caves of Bosnia and Herzegovina remained dormant when observed in one place for 2,569 days ….

Proteus anguinus, also known as blind newts, blind salamander, 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 family Proteus anguinus in Europe and is the only cave salamander in Europe.

To find out how sedentary the olm is, the researchers tagged and followed a total of 26 individuals living in the 350-meter-long area of the Vruljak 1 cave, between 2010 and 2018. At least 100 days passed between each test, but in just 10 times an olm has moved more than 10 meters with a movement of 20 meters recorded only once.

Thời gian trung bình cho mỗi lần giao phối của chúng là 12, 5 năm.

The average time for each of their matings is 12.5 years.

On average, creatures move about 5 meters per year, although one super-individual has completely changed 38 meters in just 230 days.

Although they do not have eyes, olm have good chemical, magnetic and acoustic senses, so their lack of movement can be associated with difficulty in navigation.

According to the research of scientists, these blind animals live in the shadow of the “Hanadu” in the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina to escape the pursuit of predators, but at the same time it also makes them meet. it was very difficult to get food and eventually they chose to evolve in such a way as to minimize their life activities.

In order to survive in an environment that is lacking in food, these salamanders must slow down their metabolism and live only on small shrimp and snails that they accidentally catch – this is also the only food source. that they can be found in this habitat. According to scientists, the metabolism of Proteus anguinus species is so slow that it amounts to about 10 years apart with each meal.

Quá trình trao đổi chất của loài Proteus anguinus diễn ra cực chậm, mỗi bữa ăn cách nhau 10 năm.
The metabolism of Proteus anguinus species is very slow, with each meal spaced 10 years apart.

Of course, a slow metabolism is not unhealthy, the blind salamander can last up to a century. However, the downside is quite clear, this salamander is very difficult to establish mating relationship with each other, because they hardly move, so the chance for them to meet is also very difficult. According to scientists’ calculations, the average length of each mating period is 12 or 5 years and this may also be the only motivation for them to move or have to move. Therefore, the nature of the life of this animal is not hard work and vigor, but calm and recklessness.

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