Imagination

Baby ‘Dragons’ Are Hatching in Slovenia

Postojna Cave in southwestern Slovenia is home to a blind, aquatic salamander called the olms – which are nicknamed dragons because of their long, slender bodies.



What makes this breed of salamander incredibly special is that they only lay eggs once or twice a decade, despite their 100-year lifespans.

According to Science Alert:

“News of the ‘dragon eggs’ first broke earlier this year, when researchers working with the creatures found 50 to 60 eggs in the cave. Now, four months later, there are only 22 viable eggs left, and the first of these eggs has just hatched, causing biologists across the world to freak out with excitement.

That excitement is understandable – other than the fact that olms only lay eggs a few times per decade, only two out of 500 eggs usually hatch, mainly due to decay that can easily spread throughout the eggs and, of course, predators that want dragon for lunch.

News of the ‘dragon eggs’ first broke earlier this year, when researchers working with the creatures found 50 to 60 eggs in the cave. Now, four months later, there are only 22 viable eggs left, and the first of these eggs has just hatched, causing biologists across the world to freak out with excitement.

The excitement is understandable – considering olms only lay eggs a few times per decade, and usually only about two out of 500 eggs hatch, mainly due to decay that can easily spread throughout the eggs and, predators of the species.

The_female_olm_in_Postojna_Cave_aquarium_has_laid_one_more_egg_almost_two_months_after_the_first_laying_in_January.__c._photo_Ciril_Mlinar_Cic_Postojna_Cave__ DragoneggHeader_1024The research team in Slovenia is hoping that the new olms will allow them to understand more about the strange species, and how they achieve such a long life.

Check out the video below to see the new dragons ‘dance!’

H/T Science Alert

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