The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.


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Photo of the Day

Following is one of the hundreds of amazing, bizarre, and often-overlooked animals in Ross Piper’s new book, Animal Earth, that he’d like to see get some more attention.

Humans have cataloged as many as 1.5 million species of animals, and Piper said there may be as many as 200 million more species still undiscovered. “We know a great deal more about the surfaces of barren moons in space than we do about our own planet. I think that’s a shame. There are so many fascinating animals around us, and we haven’t gotten to grips even the tiniest bit with how they live,” he said.

Much of the body of a brush-head is shielded by chitinous plates.P182.tif

 


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Beautiful Translucent Snail Discovered in Croatian Cave

Found these beautiful images and information about a new species of snail discovered in Croatia on the EarthSky website:

Scientists discovered a new species of a peculiar cave-dwelling snail in one of the 20 deepest cave systems in the world, Lukina Jama–Trojama in Croatia.
The newly discovered species belongs to a genus of minute air-breathing land snails that have lost visual orientation and are considered to be true eutroglobionts, or exclusive cave-dwellers. The study describing the new species was published in the open access journal Subterranean Biology.
Image credit: Alexander M. WeigandThis image shows the new species, Zospeum tholussumImage credit: Alexander M. Weigand
The new species Zospeum tholussum is a miniature and fragile snail, with a beautifully shaped dome-like translucent shell. Only one living specimen was found during the expedition around the galleries of the Lukina Jama–Trojama cave system. The animal was found at the remarkable depth of 980 m, in an unnamed chamber full of rocks and sand and a small stream running through it.
All known species from the cave-dwelling genus Zospeum possess a limited ability to move. Their preference of a muddy habitat and the fact that they are usually located near the drainage system of the cave, in a close proximity to running water, however suggest that these animals are not exactly immobile. Scientists hypothesize that dispersal is achieved through passive transportation via water or larger mammals.