World’s Deepest Land Animal Discovered
In the dark abyss of the world’s deepest known cave lurks a newfound species of primitive eyeless insect, one that researchers are calling the deepest land animal ever found. The creature is one of four newly discovered species of wingless insects called springtails, which commonly live in total darkness in caves, where they feed on fungi and decomposing organic matter.
The insects were collected during the Ibero-Russian CaveX team expedition to the world’s deepest known cave during the summer of 2010. The cave, Krubera-Voronja, is located in Abkhazia, a remote area near the Black Sea in the mountains of Western Caucasus, and reaches a depth of 7,188 feet below the surface. The discovery of such organisms in the total absence of light and with little food available changes the way scientist’s view life deep underground on Earth.