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Unique Species of Snails Discovered in Caves

A new species of a snail with a beautiful translucent shell was recently discovered 915 meters underground in a Croatian cave. A team of speleologists and biologists from the Croatian Speleological Society found the Zospeum tholussum snail in Lukina Cave in western Croatia, one of the 20 deepest cave systems in the world.

The team collected all kinds of living things found along the way since deep cracks in caves are often the habitats of previously unknown species. So they accidentally found one living specimen of a new snail and two empty shells of the same species next to it.

To identify the species, the researchers turned to German taxonomist Alexander Weigand, who confirmed that the snail species was previously unknown, but that it is related to two other related species.

The snail has no eyes, and its shell has no pigmentation, which is typical for species that develop and live in complete darkness. It is believed that the snail moves in the water or on the backs of other cave animals such as bats and crickets in order to get from one place to another most quickly and efficiently.

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