It’s the only European vertebrate that lives its entire life in a cave.
Olm Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Proteus anguinus
Olm Physical Characteristics
Black, White, Pink
Several hundred
100 years
Top speed
5 mph
0.53 to 0.7 ounces
Olm Distribition

” The lengthiest- lived amphibian, the olm can live to be 100 years old!”

Amongst among one of the most amazing animals in a world loaded with amazing animals, the olm, like its remote relative the axolotl is a totally aquatic salamander, with gills and likewise tailfins. It is birthed, lives its extensive life- period, and likewise eventually dies in the water. Unlike the axolotl, the olm, or the cave salamander is belonging to a place called the Dinaric Karst, which is found in the previous Yugoslavia and likewise Italy.

5 Remarkable Olm Facts!

  • Though the olm’s skin is pinkish or white if it’s preserved in the darkness of the cave, if it’s obtained, it changes dark. If it’s returned to darkness, it returns to its pink or white coloring.
  • The olm can live without taking in for a minimum of 6 years.
  • Although it has lungs and likewise can breathe air, the olm is considered absolutely aquatic.
  • Being blind does not stop the olm from being a dependable candidate. It uses a range of serious discovers, containing electrosensitivity, to situate food.
  • The olm is believed to have really separated off from numerous other amphibians worrying 110 million years back.

Olm Scientific name

The Olm’s scientific name is Proteus anguinus Proteus stems from the Greek god that had the capability to change his kind at will, and likewise anguinus stems from “anguis” the Latin for “snake.” There are 2 subspecies:.

  • Proteus anguinus parkelj
  • Proteus anguinus anguinus

Olm Appearance

As appropriate its scientific name, the olm has a long, sinuous body like a pigmentless snake, with furrows close to the skeletal muscular tissue mass. It has a quick, compressed tail that has a fin that aids the animal swim. The olm seems proceeding out of its arm or legs as a result of the reality that they are incredibly little and likewise losing numbers. As an instance, there are 3 numbers on the animal’s front legs where most salamanders have 4. There are likewise much less numbers on its back legs. It simply has 2, where numerous other salamanders have 5. Its skin is so slim and likewise light that its viscera can be translucented its stomach location. The skin is also guarded by a layer of mucous. The fuzzy gills are red.

The olm’s head is lengthy in proportion to its body, and likewise it has an honest nose and likewise a little mouth wit little teeth. Even more vibrant expanded- up olms can be identified older ones as a result of the reality that they may have yellow or red locations on their body, and likewise their eyes are added comfortably seen. As the animal increases, its eyes deteriorate. Ladies are bigger than guys, nevertheless it is difficult to notify the sexes apart unless they are passed on. The cloaca of the guy is larger.

An Olm in a small pool among the rocks in a cave
An Olm in a little pool among the rocks in a cave.Matt Jeppson/Shutterstock.com.

Olm Behaviors

Olms are gregarious save throughout the recreating duration when both females and likewise guys evaluate an area. They accumulate in groups under rocks or openings in the watery caves that are difficult for people to access to. They do disappoint approximately relocate, and likewise it’s not comprehended simply exactly how big an exclusive proteus’ area commonly is. They are commonly calm, and likewise likewise guys that prepare to replicate be reluctant to get rid of. They commonly simply reveal to ward off opponents.

Because of the reality that they basically can not see and likewise do not call for to see, cave salamanders have really produced modifications that allow them to look target. They have the capability to sensation little amounts of resources and likewise can likewise notify which prey it stemmed from. They can pay attention to well, and likewise sounds are also managed the animal’s side line. This is a line that’s commonly found on the sides of aquatic animals such as fish. It aids the animal sensation activity, differences in anxiety, and likewise vibrations. Olms also have extraordinary hearing, both in the water and likewise on the ground.

Different various other modifications are a sharp preference and likewise heads which consist of electrosensitive body organs that can discover electrical locations. Though their vision is decreased, they can discover light and likewise prevent it. Some biologists assume the animal has light picking up devices in its skin.

Olm Atmosphere

The cave salamander is found in the watery caves of the Dinaric Alps near the Adriatic Sea, commonly at the entrances of the stratified rock caverns. The waters are plentiful in oxygen, have a somewhat acidic pH, and likewise maintain temperature level degrees of in between 41 and likewise 59 degrees Fahrenheit. The subspecies P. anguinus parkelj, or the black olm stays in waters that are a bit warmer. The temperature degree of the water also determines simply exactly how the salamander is birthed and likewise simply exactly how without delay or progressively the larva increases. Olms can be found as long as 984 feet deep in a cave, nevertheless rains can cleanse them right into streams.

Olm Diet

The olm primarily takes in insects and likewise insect larvae, nevertheless it will absolutely take in any type of sort of target it can catch and likewise hold. It also takes in incredibly little fish, snails, and likewise numerous other mollusks, worms, and likewise eggs. It also takes in debris. Though it has little teeth, the cave salamander does not eat nevertheless consumes its target whole. It takes in a remarkable amount of food if it’s conveniently offered and likewise has the capability to conserve food to the aspect where it can choose years without taking in. Amongst the modifications the olm produced to deal with food scarcity is the ability to reduce its metabolic procedure. It can likewise start to feed on its extremely own cells. Olms are also thought to cannibalize each numerous other from time to time.

Olm Predators and likewise Threats

While olm does not have typical predators in its little atmosphere, it is frightened by human job, although individuals have really striven to shield it by law for close to 100 years. It is fragile to toxic substances such as plant foods and likewise chemicals, and likewise it is gathered, illegally, for the pet occupation.

Occasionally an olm will absolutely be taken in by a fish or numerous other animal that got shed in its cave or will absolutely be taken in by another olm.

What takes in the Olm?

The olm does disappoint approximately have all- all-natural predators besides its conspecifics.

What does the Olm take in?

Olms take in primarily insects, especially insects that hatch out of the water such as mayflies, stoneflies, and likewise caddisflies. They also take in flies and likewise numerous other little animals such as the woodlouse, freshwater snails, and likewise amphipods such as Niphargus In addition on the olm’s diet are little fish and likewise eggs. They will conveniently take bits of raw meat.

Olm Entertainment and likewise Life cycle

People have really simply seen olms replicate in chains. They simply replicate when every 12.5 years, and likewise both sexes are not reproductively totally expanded till they concern 14 years old. Throughout this time around about, guys state an area and likewise protect it as they wait for a females to pass. The sexes can be distinguished presently as a result of the reality that the guy’s cloaca is puffy and likewise he has lines along his tail, his fins are a little crinkly, and likewise the color of his skin is brighter.

When a females enters into the guy’s area, they have a courtship regimen that do with him moving a plan of sperm and likewise her taking it up right into her cloaca and likewise maintaining the sperm in a spermatheca. Afterwards, the sperm feeds her eggs. Ladies simply mate with one guy nevertheless guys mate with more than one woman.

The females olm afterwards creates her actual own area at an array from the guy’s. She brings the fed eggs for 2 to 3 days afterwards starts to lay them under a rock. She can lay eggs for as extensive as 25 days. There are commonly in between 35 and likewise 70 eggs. They are 0.16 to 0.2 inches regarding at first afterwards blow up to 0.31 to 0.35 inches as they deal with water. The females safeguards them for 2 to 6 months. The temperature degree of the water adds in recognizing when the eggs hatch out. Eggs supported in chillier temperature level degrees hatch out behind eggs supported in warmer temperature level degrees. When the eggs hatch out the larvae, which concern 0.8 inches long, are independent.

The olm tadpoles do not experience change nevertheless are smaller sized variants of their mother and fathers. Some scientists assume that a proteus can give birth to real-time larvae if the water is cold and likewise simply lays eggs when the water is a bit warmer, nevertheless this is unscientific.

Olm Populace

Scientist assume there most likely to the extremely the very least a number of hundred olms worldwide. Their atmosphere makes them hard to study, nevertheless they are duplicated in chains in Germany and likewise France and likewise can be seen at Croatia’s Zagreb Zoo.


  1. National Georgraphic, Available here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/the-olm-the-blind-cave-salamander-that-lives-to-100
  2. New Scientist, Available here: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22830501-000-meet-the-weird-amphibian-that-rules-the-underworld/
  3. Animal Diversity Web, Available here: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Proteus_anguinus/
  4. Edge of Existence, Available here: http://www.edgeofexistence.org/species/olm/
  5. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olm
  6. Amphibia Web, Available here: https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4229
  7. Britannica, Available here: https://www.britannica.com/animal/olm
  8. Xinhua Net, Available here: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-01/11/c_138695353.htm

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