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Space is not the final frontier yet. The caves are some of the most mysterious places on Earth, along with ocean beds. Modern scientists intensely researched caves, but Krubera cave in the Western Caucasus proves to be a continuous challenge. Krubera’s current measured depth goes further than 7000 feet. Actually, the last measurement took place in 2012, when more than 150 feet have been discovered. It is much deeper than the all the other caves. In fact, the cave found in Arabika massive is the only cave in the world deeper than 6.561 feet (2000m). Caves are scientifically attractive for geologists, as well as biologists. The enclosed space is often home to unique ecosystems. New animals and plants are discovered often with every new exploration. A beetle species discovered by researchers from the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology is the latest. Recently we covered another discovery in the animal kingdom, an ancient flying reptile.
Beetle species discovered in limestone structure
“The new species of cave beetle is called Duvalius abyssimus. We only have two specimens, a male and a female. Although they were captured in the world’s deepest cave, they were not found at the deepest point,” Vicente M. Ortuño, University of Alcalá declared. The beetle, named Duvalius Abyssimus, lives only underground, but it was not found in the deepest point. The area where the beetle lives is mainly composed of limestone from Jurassic-Cretaceous era. But for a ‘hypogean’ creature, it has a peculiar feature, eyes. What this means is that the beetle is only moderately adapted to the tough underground life. Beetles are known as the first organisms to adapt to subterranean life. European, Asian, as well as endemic fauna live in the same location. How these species co-exist will be an important future research focus.
The geography of Krubera cave is very complex. Getting to the deepest points is a true adventure. Scientists have to cross underwater sections and climb down impressive distances in an environment with a temperature just above the freezing point. It only makes you appreciate a tiny pair of beetles even more.
The beetle species discovered by researchers are represented by a male and a female pair. It has long antennae and no pigment and measures around a quarter of an inch. A complete initial analysis of the pair and its environment can be learned from the team’s article “A new species of Duvalius from world’s deepest cave (Coleoptera: Carabidae)” published in the journal Zootaxa.