This bizarre-looking, ancient cave-dweller, the olm, lives in the underground cave systems of Central and Southeastern Europe. Centuries ago, it was believed that they were the offspring of a real underground dragoncool!

 

These days, they’re known as the ‘human fish’ by locals because of their flesh-coloured skin. 

 

Last year, an ancient cave in Slovenia hit the headlines when one of its rare olms laid eggs in an aquarium within the caves.

 

Now, you can watch an incredible time-lapse video that shows the baby dragons’ journey, from eggs to hatching and swimming!

Slovenias cave dwelling dragons
The red tufts at the back of the head are gills that allow olms to breathe underwater.

 

Olms are aquatic, can grow up to 30cm in length and live for 100 years. They feast on crabs, worms and snails and are completely blind, although they’ve developed other super senses to help them navigate their dark surroundings, including hearing, smell and balance.

 

It’s hoped that these new babies will give the species — which has been listed as a rare and endangered species since 1982 — a welcome boost, plus help scientists to better understand these weird creatures.

 

It’s the first time that olms have been recorded reproducing on film. Now that’s what we call a roaring success!

Slovenias cave dwelling dragons
Olms are a type of salamander and the only European vertebrate (animal that has a backbone) that lives exclusively underground.

 

Images: Postojnska Jama
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