The olm is another one of those uglies who's really got it all. This aquatic cave salamander is naked, blind, elongated, vaguely obscene, and keeps its juvenile feathery, bloody-looking gills for the whole of its remarkably long life.
The olm lives in caves in Slovenia and Croatia, and the Slovenians seem to appreciate their uglies: they've put this critter on a coin:
While small animals generally have shorter lifespans than big animals, the olm has been recorded as living to 70 years of age, and recently published research suggests that they can live past 100.
I can't say I'm actually happy about this fact. I get annoyed enough when an animal has more Facebook friends than I do. The last thing I want to hear about is more animals that live longer than I probably will. I have places to go, books to write, cookies to eat... is the olm really going to make better use of all that time?
Read more about the olm and the scientists who study it at the excellent blog Not Exactly Rocket Science.
Wombat (No Relation)