Proteus anguinus

Olm (Proteus anguinus)

The olm or proteus (Proteus anguinus) is an aquatic salamander in the family Proteidae, the only exclusively cave-dwelling chordates pecies found in Europe. In contrast to most amphibians, it is entirely aquatic; it eats, sleeps, and breeds underwater. Living in caves found in the Dinaric Alps, it is endemic to the waters that flow underground through the extensive limestone bedrock of the karst of Central and Southeastern Europe, specifically southern Slovenia, the basin of the Soča River near Trieste, Italy, southwestern Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Introduced populations are found near Vicenza, Italy, and Kranj, Slovenia.