Latest Issue of Science News


Introducing

Clearly new snail

Croatia’s deepest cave system is home to a tiny, translucent resident

DEEP DOWN A tiny, translucent snail lives in Croatia’s deepest cave system.

Magazine issue: 
Sponsor Message

Croatia’s deepest cave system is home to a tiny, translucent resident. The newly named Zospeum tholussum belongs to a group of terrestrial snails found in wet subterranean habitats. Alexander Weigand of Goethe University Frankfurt in Germany retrieved a living specimen from one chamber and a handful of empty shells from others more than 800 meters deep inside the Lukina Jama–Trojama cave system.

At that depth, air temperature drops to a chilly 3.3° Celsius. The delicate shells averaged just 1.55 millimeters tall, or about the thickness of a penny. Unoccupied shells are nearly clear but turn milky white as they age, Weigand reported in August in Subterranean Biology.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X