U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009-3024
Caves in northern Arizona and western New Mexico are being researched and inventoried by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and cooperating agencies. Southwestern caves have been little studied, and scientists are now finding that these lightless and nutrient-poor natural systems are home to life forms found nowhere else on Earth. This research has identified unique communities of arthropods (insects, arachnids, and crustaceans) that include 3 new genera, or groups of species, and at least 15 new species—some only known to exist in a single cave. This exciting research is yielding information that will be used by resource managers to better understand and protect fragile and important Southwestern cave ecosystems.
Posted April 16, 2009
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Wynne, J. Judson, and Drost, Charles, 2009, Southwest caves reveal new forms of life: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009-3024, 2 p. [http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2009/3024/].