Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The olm (Proteus anguinus) is a small, aquatic salamander found in Europe. The entire species dwells completely within the cave systems of which specific mountain range?
2. As a result of its habitat, the olm is blind. The eyes are regressed, almost non visible and covered with a layer of skin. Despite this, what ability do the eyes possess?
3. Animals that live completely in the dark portions of caves, such as the olm, certain molluscs, crustaceans and arachnids, are known by what specific name?
4. Olms grow to approximately 30cm in length, with a cylindrical trunk and a short, flattened tail. As a result of having very little of the pigment riboflavin within the thin skin covering its body, olms appear pink or off-white. This led to them being called by what name by the locals?
5. A study in the scientific journal, "Biology Letters", published by Messrs Voituron, de Fraipont, Issartel, Guillaume and Clobert in 2011, calculated an average lifespan of 68-70 years for an adult olm. In this same study, they predicted a maximum lifespan of how many years for an adult olm?
6. Olm tadpoles achieve an adult appearance after four months and the adult olm retains larval features. It then takes fourteen years to reach sexual maturity. Producing young every twelve and half years, which mode of reproduction have they been proved to utilise?
7. Olms feed on a number of creatures such as crabs, snails and the occasional insect. They swallow their food whole and upon consuming large quantities of food, are able to store the nutrients in the liver. Due to adaptations like these, for how long approximately can the olm survive without food?
8. "The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola", an anthology compiled by Johann Weikhard von Valvaso in 1689, has the first mention of the olm. The olms would be washed from their caves by heavy rains and gave rise to folklorish beliefs. What were they described as in this work?
9. The olm is very susceptible to pollutants in water, which makes them vulnerable to pesticides and any number of toxins which seep into the groundwater, leading to population decline. Which other major factor is contributing to the decline?
10. The olm is a symbol of national heritage and was depicted on a coin called a tolar in this European country's former currency. Which country is it?
Source: Author kino76
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