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This Salamander Can Mostly Sit Still For Seven Years

If you think you’re good at being a couch potato, I’m sorry to tell you that these blind, foot-long aquatic salamanders would beat you at your own game.

In order to survive inside caverns that have very little food, these creatures, called olms, don’t move much in order to conserve energy. One such olm was reported to not have moved from the same spot for seven years!

In addition to the one extremely sedentary olm, most of the others didn’t seem to move more than 10 meters from their original spots over several years, the scientists found.
Olms could be considered extreme couch potatoes. A slow pace of life — punctuated roughly every 12 years by the need to reproduce — helps to conserve energy over a life span that can last for roughly 100 years, the researchers say. Energy conservation is paramount in these caves. With little to go around of the crustaceans and snails that olms eat, the salamanders can go 10 years without eating.


(Image Credit: Balázs Lerner and Gergely Balázs/ Proteus Project/ ScienceNews)

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