"Proteus Anguinus" Postojna Things to Do Tip by Vanity666

Postojna Things to Do: 93 reviews and 223 photos


This is a very strange animal, the symbol of the caves : the Proteus anguinus, also called the Human Fish.

Proteus anguinus is completely adapted to eternal subterranean darkness as it hides in the depths of underground caves for its whole life. Therefore, the pale skin contains no protective pigment and it is whitish with a pink hue due to the skin capillaries (similar colour to that of Caucasian human beings-hence the creature's name). The tiny eyes can be seen only at the foetal stage, later they are grown over with skin. The head is elongated with a rounded snout. The front legs bear 3, the rear legs 2 toes. The flattened tail used for swimming is markedly shorter than the body. The animal stays in water its entire life and breathes with gills, even though it has rudimentary lungs. Proteus anguinus is approximately 25-30cm long, which makes it the biggest cave animal in the world. At the same time, it is also the only cave adapted vertebrate in Europe.

There are few in the small pool close to the exit, and they are changed every two months, during which they do not eat anything.

Review Helpfulness: 2 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 7, 2008
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