'Dragon baby' first public debut

The world's first public exhibition on young cysts will open from June 11 at Slovenia's famous Postojna cave.

Picture 1 of 'Dragon baby' first public debut
Young maggots are displayed in a glass tank at Postojna cave. (Photo: Sun).

Magong is one of the most unique amphibians on Earth when it can live up to 100 years in a dark cave environment and spend all of its time underwater, including when eating, sleeping and breeding. They look like worms but have gills and legs, the heart only beats twice a minute and has almost no vision.

Local legend says they are descendants of cave-dwelling dragons, so this species is also called a "baby dragon" . The adults are usually only about 30cm long. With long life and biological characteristics almost unchanged throughout the life cycle, they are dubbed the creatures "forever young".

Postojna Caves are a popular habitat, but it is very difficult to encounter them in the wild. Since the beginning of the 19th century, Slovenia has organized tours that allow people to see firsthand the adult thunderstorm inside the cave.

Picture 2 of 'Dragon baby' first public debut
Cystic eggs are incubated in the laboratory. (Photo: Sun).

In a breeding effort to conserve this rare amphibian, the scientists successfully hatched 22 cystic eggs in the laboratory after 120 days. The young will be exhibited for the first time in public in an exhibition taking place next week at Postojna cave. The event is open from 7am to 9pm.

Thunderstorms are now classified as endangered animals in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Changes in habitats, including groundwater pollution, are a major threat to this cave creature.

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