American Grotto

Biology


Speleological Preservation and Exploration

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Missouri Cave Life

Cave Animal Classifications

               All animals that live in caves are classified into three groups:  Trogloxenes, troglophiles, and troglobites.

               Trogloxenes are animals that are sometimes found in caves, but do not depend on them at any point of there life. Most are rarely found beyond the light of the entrance.

               Troglophiles are animals that make caves their home. They depend on caves to live but must venture out from time to time in order to survive.

               Troglobites are true cave dwellers.  They depend on the cave to survive and usually never leave through their entire life span. These species are usually blind and lack any skin pigment. Most would die if brought outside of the cave it lives in.

               All these animials can be classified into two groups as well.

               Vertebrates are animals with a segmented spinal column and usually have a well developed brain.

               Invertebrates are animals that do not have a backbone and have a less developed brain.

Cave Species

Invertebrates

               Insects

               Crustaceans

               Isopods

               Amphipods

               Worms, Leeches

               Snails, Slugs

               Spiders, Scorpions

               Centipedes, Millipedes

Fish

               Blind Cave Fish

Amphibians

               Frogs, Toads

               Salamanders

Reptiles

Birds

Mammals

               Bats

               Carnivores

               Egg-Laying

               Small Mammals, Rodents

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