In the world there are very rare animals that few ever get to see live. The so-called European Proteus (Proteus anguinus) is very similar to long lizards, but are actually amphibious creatures. All their lives they are in the larval stage and mostly live in dark caves of Slovenia. They are amazing because they can live up to 100 years, but 500 eggs usually develop only a couple of adults. Here’s another reason a reason of their extreme rarity — they reproduce only every 5-10 years. In January 2016, scientists were able to capture the birth of these creatures on camera and now they are grown. You look at them now, but only by going into the cave in which they live. Every day there allowed only 30 people.
A life that fully takes place in the larval stage, called neotenous. Sexual maturity in the larval stage characteristic of some amphibians animals — for example, axolotls, which are mentioned in this article.
About unusual animals and strict conditions of their visit was described in a scientific publication ScienceAlert. Unusual animals were discovered in the caves of Postojna a length of more than 20 thousand meters. Four years ago in its vicinity was discovered a pregnant female the Proteas that were supposed to spawn. Since these creatures are on the verge of extinction and very rare breed, people have provided the most comfortable conditions for childbirth. The important thing is that they did away from her other Proteas, which could destroy the offspring.
For more than two weeks, the female laid 52 eggs. Unfortunately, 29 of them were fertilized, but all the rest were clear signs of development. After 124 days after the laying of eggs, the light began to appear the first larvae. Subsequently, all these eggs, only three hatched larvae, but they have successfully evolved to more or less adulthood. Since recently, the Slovenian cave opened for visitors, only here to look at tiny creatures may not all attend. Every day in the cave allowed only 30 people, which can be big queues.
It is logical to assume that the tiny creatures are inaccessible to a wide range of people because they are very rare and are under strict protection. After all, if you admit to the cave a lot of people, creatures might happen something terrible. The preservation of life of the Proteus is not only important for maintaining the biodiversity of our planet, researchers are still actively studying these creatures. Perhaps one of research papers will help them to rebuild their population.
Given the pandemic coronavirus, suggest that few of our readers will have the opportunity to witness these amazing and its lovely creatures. So let’s just watch the video with them and remember some interesting facts. Let’s start with their sizes — their length reaches a maximum of 35 centimeters. Despite their little bodies, the Slovenians from the earliest times called them “dragons almami”.
Translated from the German, "the dragon-OLM" can be translated as "dragon larva"
Also these creatures are sometimes referred to as “human fish” because their bodies painted in the color of human skin. But the shell Nude has some transparency and it allows you to see the internal organs. Usually individuals develop in the dark caves, but if they for some reason turned on the light, their bodies take on a more dark color. It is important to clarify that the larvae can develop only in areas with streams and lakes without water they can not do. Cave Proteas themselves are not selected, because for them it’s apparent death. But sometimes they are washed out by rivers and this is especially true during the rains.
Proteas feed on small crustaceans creatures and worms. On shore, too, they are selected very rarely, only when they really need to get some air. For respiration , they use lungs, but the air they little important and water. So if they somehow find themselves on land, they are quickly overtaken by death. Here they are fragile beings, for the preservation of life which must be constantly monitored.
In conclusion we can say that the Proteas — the laziest animals on the planet. While all known sloths (Folivora) move at least to eat and go to the toilet, these creatures lead a predominantly sedentary lifestyle. This researchers learned in the experiment — they caught 19 adult Proteus, flagged their tails and released. Eight years later, they checked the location of the animal and found that in all that time, they moved only 10 meters. One individual generally stayed in the same place for about seven years.