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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: An Arthropod Version of Morlocks?
22 February 2012 5:37 pm
In the darkest depths of terra firma, springtails, a humble class of creepy-crawlies, quietly go about their business. Researchers documenting life in the world’s deepest cave, Krubera-Voronya on the eastern side of the Black Sea, discovered four new species of springtail, including the eyeless Anurida stereoodorata (inset), which subsist on fungi and decaying organic material. The intrepid scientists monitored sections of the cave for a month, looking for life using pitfall traps baited with cheese. Two of the species, Plutomurus ortobalaganensis (pictured above), found 1980 meters down, and Schaefferia profundissima found 1600 meters down, now hold the record for deepest living underground invertebrates, researchers report today in Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews. Their new finds bury the previous record-holder for deepest-dwelling springtail, Ongulonychiurus colpus, a Spanish cave creature found 550 meters down. And since these new species were one of the most common decomposers in Krubera-Voronya cave, they probably have no need to snatch creatures from the surface for food—as H.G. Wells’s subterranean Morlocks did in The Time Machine.
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