2. [syn: Proteus, genus Proteus]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Proteus \Pro"te*us\, prop. n. [L., Gr. ?.]
1. (Class. Myth.) A sea god in the service of Neptune who
assumed different shapes at will. Hence, one who easily
changes his appearance or principles.
2. (Zool.) A genus of aquatic eel-shaped amphibians of the
family Proteidae of the order Urodela, found in caves
in the karst regions near the Adriatic from Trieste to
Montenegro (including Slovenia, Croatia, and Herzegovina);
also called the Olm, White Salamander, and Human
fish; it is a true troglobiont (cave animal). They have
permanent external gills as well as lungs. The vestigial
eyes are small and can only perceive light and dark; the
legs are weak. Some were reported in Germany and France,
apparently due to human intervention. It was known to
Charles Darwin who wrote about cave animals in The Origin
of Species, chapter 5.
[1913 Webster + PJC]
The unusual Olm (Proteus anguinus, aka Cave
Salamander, although no relation to the
Hydromantes spp) is the only European member of
the Proteidae family, the rest occurring in
America. This species was only discovered in 1875
and even today is only known in about fifty caves in
the limestone mountains of the region, plus one
isolated location in Italy. Olms are characterised
by an elongated body, white unpigmented skin, three
pairs of external gills and vestigial, skin-covered
eyes which can only perceive light and shadow. The
Olm hunts aquatic crustaceans such as water fleas
mainly by sensory organs in the skin. If washed out
of their caves by heavy rainfall, olms will collect
in deep pools, but they will not voluntarily leave
the water. At the same time they have lungs and
drown if they cannot surface at some point for air.
The optimum water temperature for this species is
5-10 C. Females normally give birth to two larvae,
but curiously enough if the water is warm enough
(about 15 deg C) they can lay up to 80 eggs instead.
A lot is still undiscovered about the lives of these
3. A changeable protozoan; an amoeba.
4. A genus of gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria, including
some species pathogenic in man.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: (Greek mythology) a prophetic god who served Poseidon; was
capable of changing his shape at will
2: type genus of the Proteidae [syn: Proteus, genus Proteus]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018):
An extensible language, the core of PARSEC.
["The Design of a Minimal Expandable Computer Language",
J.R. Bell, PhD Thesis, CS, Stanford University (Dec 1968)].