Olm

From Academic Kids

Olm
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Lissamphibia
Order:Caudata
Family:Proteidae
Genus:Proteus
Species:P. anguinus
Binomial name
Proteus anguinus
Laurenti, 1768

The Proteus or Olm (Proteus anguinus) is an endemic amphibian animal, found in karst areas of the Dinaric Alps.

The animal is white or slightly pink and has small extremities with two toes on the hind leg and three toes on the foreleg. Due to its fair complexion, it is locally referred to as "human fishlet" or "humanoid fish". External gills are also present in adult forms. It is usually 25-30 centimetres long. Due to its subterranean life the Olm's eyes have degenerated and are covered by skin.

The Olm lives in subterranean freshwater lakes and brooks of the karst areas of the Dinaric Alps along the Adriatic coast of northeastern Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina to Montenegro. The subspecies Proteus anguinus parkelj (Black Olm) is only found in Bela Krajina of southern Slovenia.

Olms feed on small crustaceans and worms which the Olms locate with their olfactory sense.

It is a common myth that the Olm dies when it is placed in full daylight or in water temperatures higher than the 10°C of its natural habitat. In reality an Olm could live in laboratories in normal light in water of up to 30°C. The Olm slowly changes its color to brown or black in light, and slowly changes back to a pale white once placed back into the dark.

External links

fr:Proteus anguinus it:Proteus anguinus nl:Olm (salamander) sl:Človeška ribica

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