25 October 2009
Life underground in central Australia
A survey commissioned by the National Geographic Society has identified 850 new invertebrates living underground in the arid central region of Australia. It is believed that these creatures retreated to a subterranean environment about 15 million years ago when the continent's climate changed. They have survived in underground springs, aquifers, and "microcaverns."
Pictured above is a blind cave eel; other blind creatures discovered incude a spider, a fish, and a pseudoscorpion. A gallery of nine photos is available at the National Geographic website. See also related links here.
Photo credit Douglas Elford, Western Australian Museum.