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Troglobites

Cave Dwellers


Image: Niphargus from the  Falkensteiner Höhle, Germany.

Troglobites are animals that live in caves and are unable to live outside of it. Troglobites usually have troglomorphic adaptions, which means they have adapted to the special environment. They are generally the reason why they would not survive outside.

Typical adaptions to the cave environment are intensification of useful senses: smell, touch and hear. Many troglobites have long antennas, can feel very good and even feel vibrations and thus sense moving objects. Smell is also a usefull sense, especially for animals living in the water.

On the other hand there is the loss of useless senses. As there is absolutely no light, sight is the first which is abandoned. Sometime even the eyes get lost.

And finally there are passive adaptions, like the loss of skin pigmentation. Troglobites are pale, most of them are white or transparent. Blood shines through redish or is transparent too. This is no usefull adaption, it is cause simply by a lack of necessity, but it makes the return to the surface impossible. The troglobite would die very soon from the ultraviolet light. Even short exposure to sunlight may be lethal.


 Amphipoda |  Cave Fish |  Cave Fungi |  Leptodirus hohenwarti |  Nanobacteria |  Olm (Proteus anguinus) |  Cave Spiders

See also


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