For Valentine’s Day, the story of the olm salamander, who will basically sit around and do nothing… unless it’s time for love. Plus: people in Rangeley, Maine gear up for the annual World Record Snowmobile Ride.
Rangeley World Record Snowmobile Ride (Visit Maine)
As Tom Jones might say if he were a biologist, it’s not unusual to stay put for seven years for anyone…
It’s Valentine’s Day, and what I truly love this year is this story about the olm salamander, who will basically sit around and do nothing unless it’s time for love.
There was a study done not so long ago about olms in the Balkans, where divers tracked their movements.
And from the sounds of the write-up in the Journal of Zoology, this was maybe the easiest job in the world, cause these little dudes don’t move all that much.
Of course, they don’t really need to.
They live in caves and can’t see, they’re not particularly social, they don’t have predators, so they don’t need to find places to hide, and, amazingly, they don’t need to eat terribly often either.
Scientists say they can go several years without food.
The olms can meet their basic needs pretty easily, but instead of using all their extra time to catch up on their reading, or do some work around the house, they just sort of sit around.
The study found that some move less than 33 feet over the course of an entire decade.
And in some cases these olms can live to be a hundred years old!
So what does prompt them to move?
Mating, which they do every dozen years or so.
You know it’s true love when your partner is willing to move several feet to find you, right?
And people in Maine are going to be on the move this weekend.
The community in Rangeley, in western Maine, is holding its annual World Record Snowmobile Ride.
The riders gather together at noon and hit the trails to raise money for charity and hopefully to set a new world record.