Deepest-Living Land Animal Found in Krubera-Voronja Cave

February 22, 2012 / Abkhazia, Asia
A Tiny Springtail

Photo by Mick E. Talbot/flickr

Deep inside Krubera-Voronja, the world’s deepest cave, European scientists have discovered the deepest-living land animal.

Named Plutomurus ortobalaganensise, the tiny eyeless creature is a type of arthropod known as a springtail. It was one of four new species, all springtails, found during the recent Ibero-Russian CaveX Team Expedition to the cave.

We were really surprised by this biodiversity in the deep subsurface biosphere, in such kind of abiotic place, with no light and very low temperatures (0.5–5° Celsius), Sofia Reboleira, Researcher at Valencia’s Natural History Museum in Spain in an email to The Epoch Times

Living in complete darkness, 1.98 kilometers (1.23 miles) underground the creatures have adapted, loosing their eyes and body pigmentation, and gaining specialized sensory organs such as a highly specialized chemoreceptor to detect chemical signals.

Found at nearly the very bottom of the 2.11 kilometer (1.3 mile) deep cave, the scientists believe that the only thing preventing the discovery of life at further depths is the ability to find a cave that reaches deeper.

The results of the research are available in the recent issue of Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews which came out on February 22nd.

Deepest-Living Terrestrial Invertebrate Found Near Black Sea [The Epoch Times]

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