Proteus anguinus

Family : Proteidae

 

Proteus anguinus, Proteidae

The Proteus anguinus is a salamander endemic to the underground waters in north-eastern Italy, Slovenia and Croatia calcareous grottoes. It is 20-30 cm long with a depigmented livery, white pinkish, and red gills with which it breathes, as the tadpoles do, also when adult. The head is elongated with small eyes hidden under the skin, the tail is very compressed like a fin, the forelimbs have three fingers and the back ones only 2. It hunts in the dark small crustaceans and mollusks on the bottom of underground streams, thanks to particular olfactory and hearing organs. The female lays 10-17 eggs, fixing them under the submerged rocks, and the larvae, born after 13-20 weeks, do again in a certain sense accelerated the evolution of the species, seen that they have normal eyes, well developed during the first months of life. The longevity of Proteus anguinus is estimated at up to 58 years © Giuseppe Mazza

 

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