Caves are amazing places that can seem like a completely different world. In a cave you can discover different rocks, views, and even animals than you have ever seen before.
There are a surprising number of animals who can live in caves and survive there. These animals are often referred to as troglobionts.
The word 'troglo' means cave or hole in the Greek language. In addition, the word 'bio' means life in the same language.
These dark dwelling critters are referred to as cave life or hole life. This is a very appropriate name as this is where these creatures live.
Some of the creatures can only live in the cave and cannot survive outside of their dark dwelling. The critters that permanent call the cave their home are referred to as 'troglobites.'
The word 'troglobites' literally means 'cave dwellers.' This is also a very appropriate name for these animals.
Troglobites have usually dwelled underground for so long that they have lost their ability to see because they do not need it. In addition, these animals are completely colorless because color does not give them an advantage like is does the day dwelling creatures when they are trying to avoid predators.
A few examples of troglobites include the blind Texas salamander, blind flatworms, eyeless shrimp, eyeless fish, cave beetles, cave crayfish, bristletails, isopods, and copepods. As you can tell, most of these animals are similar to insects or worms in nature.
There are no large mammals that permanently dwell in caves. Some creatures live in the caves, but leave it for a while to complete their life cycle.
These creatures are referred to as 'trogloxenes.' The word 'trogloxenes' means 'cave guests' and it an appropriate named because they do not stay underground their whole life.
The category of trogloxenes includes some varieties of bats because they tend to sleep or roost in caves, but leave it to feed and perform other activities. In addition, some varieties of pack rats are also consider to be trogloxenes because they only nest in caves.
Cave crickets, flies and gnats also are trogloxenes because they feed outside of the cave. There is one more category of animals that live in caves.
These animals live in caves on occasion, but like to live in other places as well. These creatures are known as 'trogolophiles.' The word 'troglophiles' means 'cave lovers. '
The category of troglophiles as includes crickets, cave beetles, salamanders, millipedes, snails, copepods, segmented worms, mites, spiders, and daddy longlegs or harvestmen.
The last category of animals that have anything to do with caves are called 'incidentals.' They are called incidentals because they only enter the caves on occasion and it is not a regular activity.
The group of incidentals includes creatures such as raccoons, frogs, and of course humans. Of those creatures that do live in the cave, they all live in different areas as the temperature and living conditions are different depending on the different areas of the cave.
Most caves are divided into three different areas or categories. The first area is the entrance zone of a cave.
The entrance zone is everything that opens the surface of the cave to daylight. It is usually cool in temperature and shaded within the opening.
Many rodents, spiders, beetles, earthworms, salamanders, snakes, millipedes and other small animals can be found in the entrance zone. Many of these animals are actually day animals.
The second area is called the twilight zone. The twilight zone is area behind the entrance zone that is also cool in temperature, damp, and has some light, but not full daylight like the entrance zone.
In general, only crickets and beetles venture here. The last zone of the caves is the dark zone.
This zone is constantly cold in temperature and very dark. These conditions never change unless a human brings a light there.
Only blind crayfish, eyeless shrimp and other animals who can survive with not light live here. It is important that if you desire to see these creatures and the dark parts of the cave that you have the proper kind of training before you venture there.
There is a variety of equipment that you must have, or you could very well lose your life in the cave. In addition to light, you will also need food, water, extra clothing, a guide or knowledge of the caves, and so forth.
However, properly prepared you will be able to see many wondrous sights. You will be entering a new world.