Strange and rare amphibian olm eggs ready to hatch

  • 29 February 2016
olm in aquarium Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption In Slovenian, olms are also called "human fish" because of their pale skin

A strange and rare 'dragon-like' creature called an olm has laid eggs in a cave in Slovenia in Eastern Europe visited by a million tourists every year.

Olms are blind salamanders, a type of amphibian, and live in caves. They're thought to live for more than 100 years but reproduce just once or twice every ten years.

Scientists are excited because a female olm in the Postojna Cave has laid 50-60 eggs - and three of them are now showing signs of growth.

It takes eggs around 120 days to hatch and nobody knows how many of them will survive.

Image copyright Iztok Medja/Postojnska jama
Image caption Nearly 60 eggs have been laid on the underside of a rock
Image copyright Iztok Medja/Postojnska jama
Image caption It will probably be at least four months before any eggs hatch
Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Olms have skin-covered, sightless eyes and gills that stick out of their sides

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