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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
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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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