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Dragon Tails

2016/06/16

Four months after being laid, eggs of a rare and endangered salamander, known as the olm, are finally hatching at the Postojna Cave in Slovenia.

Rare salamander eggs finally hatch

Proteus anguinus, also known as the olm,

Photo of a captive Proteus anguinus, also known as the olm, at Postojna Cave, Slovenia. Image credit: Alex Hyde, Postojna Cave.

June 7, 2016
EarthSky

Postojna Cave Park in Slovenia is home to a rare and endangered salamander species known as the olm. On January 30, 2016, a tour guide noticed that an olm in their captive population, housed in a display aquarium for tourists, had laid an egg. In the days that followed, she produced over 60 eggs. This caused considerable excitement since female olm only lay eggs once every six or seven years.

Now, four months later, the first egg has hatched!

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Biologists and staff at Postojna Cave are taking extraordinary measures to care for the embryos and babies of these endangered salamanders. In the wild, it’s estimated that only two out of 500 olm eggs hatch successfully, while others succumb to decay, environmental changes and predators. Only a small percentage of hatchlings survive to adulthood.

A spokesperson from the Postojna Cave said, in a press release,

The babies will soon need to be fed, as they are not living in a natural environment where it could feed on its own. We will change the water on a daily basis to avoid infections developing. If there are several babies, each will need to be in its own aquarium. We will have to set up a proper little nursery for each of them. And if all goes well, the baby dragons will grow into adults.

(Excerpt)
Full Article Rare salamander eggs finally hatch
[Byline Shireen Gonzaga]

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