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article imageNew snail species discovered in Croatia

By Lizz Riggs     Sep 16, 2013 in Environment
A new species of a cave-dwelling snail with a semi-transparent shell has been discovered in the Lukina Jama-Trojama cave system.
The deepest cave system in all of Croatia, and one of the twenty deepest in the world, Lukina Jama-Trojama is 1,421 meters deep. Research in the cave system is ongoing, and a new species has recently been identified.
See pictures of the new snail here.
The new snail species, Zospeum tholussum, is small and fragile with a dome-like and semi-transparent shell. Other species in the genus Zospeum possess very limited ability to move and dwell in a muddy habitat located near the drainage system of the cave.
Dr. Alexander Weigand of the Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany, found only one living snail, 980 meters into the cave system.
β€œThe single living specimen was found in an unnamed large chamber with lots of stones, rocks and sand. A temporal small stream of running water was present close to the collecting site. Air temperature was between 3.3 – 3.5 degrees Celsius, water temperature 5.1 degrees Celsius and air humidity 100 per cent. Shells were observed beginning from 800 m depth till the bottom of the cave. Shells were generally found on layers of mud,” Dr Weigand said in a paper published in Subterranean Biology.
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