Wednesday, 11 September 2013

8 Quirky Species Discovered in Lava-Tube Caves

Eight new arthropod species and a new hibernating site for Townsend's big-eared bats have been discovered in New Mexico lava-tube caves, adding to the limited ecologic understanding of this unique habitat type.

Lava-tube caves form when underground offshoots of lava flows spill downslope but cool around the edges, emptying hollow, artery like cavities that can span many miles long. More than 200 such caves extend beneath El Malpais National Monument in western New Mexico and support ecosystems distinct from more commonly known limestone caves, which develop different shapes and air current patterns.

The resource management team of El Malpais National Monument conducts routine, large-scale inventories of the caves to document roosting and hibernating sites of bats, and the habitat range of other animal species. But these sweeping surveys often overlook more elusive species hiding in remote corners of the caves.

To develop a more comprehensive inventory of the national monument's animal life, a team of researchers based at Northern Arizona University conducted a systematic study of 11 caves aimed to document all inhabitants of those caves. The results were recently published in the summer issue of the journal Park Science.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails