Karst Cave - The Animals
About 40 species of troglobites (cave dwellers) live in Illinois. Most
are invertebrates. Most are rare or endangered. They are adapted to life
in complete darkness and are unable to survive in the surface world, Most
are invertebrates. Some are colorless and blind.
Animals that live in caves, but can also live in other environments are
called troglophiles (cave lovers). These animals also live in leaf litter,
basements, or drainage culverts. They include salamanders, spiders, insects,
Trogloxenes (cave visitors), are animals that use caves for shelter, but
get their food outside the cave. Among these animals are bats, birds, mice,
raccoons, and insects.
Fossils are often preserved in the stable environments of caves. Some come from animals that lived, hibernated, or found shelter in the cave and died there. Other fossils come from animals that fell or wandered into the cave or from remains that were washed in. Many of the extinct animals that lived in Illinois during the Pleistocene are known from fossils found in caves.
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