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Content tagged with "cave wildlife"

Photo of a pink planarian on a rock.

Pink Planarian

Wondering about the pink planarian’s anatomy? The rectangular end (at upper left) is the head, and the whitish part at that end is the brain. The whitish spot in the center of the body is the feeding apparatus: The planarian curls around an amphipod or isopod and sucks the juices out of it. The fringelike pinkish structures that run the length of the body, just inside the translucent edges, are the sexual glands (ovaries and testes) of this hermaphroditic animal.

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Photo of a pink planarian curled on a black rock.

Pink Planarian

Pink planarians adhere to the bottoms of rocks under water. If the spaces between the rocks become clogged with dirt, their habitat is harmed. Excessive silt can come from a variety of sources within the 13 square miles of land that drains an average of 709,000 gallons daily through the cave. Protecting the pink planarian now means that people will be able to study them in the future.

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Plants and Animals

This content is archived
"Plants and Animals" for the April 2007 Missouri Conservationist.

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Photo of amphipod on a rock

Scuds (Amphipods)

Species in the crustacean order Amphipoda
Often overlooked by people, but eagerly sought by fish, Missouri’s amphipods could be described as “shrimplike sowbugs.” They live in various aquatic habitats, and several species inhabit caves.

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Image of a southern cave fish

Southern Cavefish

Typhlichthys subterraneus
Has a long, flattened head without eyes (the only other Missouri fish that lacks eyes is the Ozark cavefish). Unpigmented, resulting in a whitish-pink appearance due to blood vessels under the skin.

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Photo of two grotto sculpin.

Two Grotto Sculpin

Grotto sculpin live in and around 6 cave systems in Perry County. Adult length is between 2½ and 4 inches.

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