McLane's Cave Crayfish - stock photo
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McLane's Cave Crayfish

When considering the body modifications that science associates with living below ground, this cave crayfish may be more modified than any other cave crayfish species on the planet. McLane's Cave Crayfish, Troglocambarus maclanei, has lost its visual structures. It has lost pigment; its legs have elongated and become thin; its claws are long, spindly, and weak; and its body is frail and delicate. Cave divers in Florida indicate that they observe this species on the ceilings of water filled caves and ledges. This individual is from Citrus County, Florida, and is a female. Groundwater dwelling organisms are threatened owing to overexploitation of groundwater by humans, contamination of groundwater via agricultural runoff and illegal chemical dumping, and destruction of associated cave habitats where bat colonies have been eradicated; bat guano can be a significant energy input into these groundwater communities.

Science Source / Dante Fenolio

3720 x 2473 pixels

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12 x 8 inches / 31 x 21 cm

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