World’s deepest land animal discovered

The deepest-dwelling land animal in the world has been found almost 2 kilometres underground. Fittingly, its home is Krubera-Voronja, the world’s deepest cave, whose bottommost point is 2191 metres below its mouth.The cave is located near the Black Sea in Abkhazia, a breakaway republic of Georgia.

The arthropod, known as Plutomurus ortobalaganensis, was discovered 1980 metres below the surface, where it feeds off fungi and other decaying matter. Three other new species were also found lurking in the cave: Anurida stereoodorataDeuteraphorura kruberaensis and Schaefferia profundissima. All four species have been classified as springtails, a type of small primitive wingless insect. Living in total darkness, the species all lack eyes. However, A. stereoodorata compensates for this with a highly specialised form of chemoreceptor. Learn more here.

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