Discovered! A translucent snail living deep underground in Croatia
In Lukina Jama-Trojama, Croatia’s deepest cave and one of the 20 deepest cave systems in the world, scientists recently discovered a new species of snail: Zospeum tholussum. The Zospeum tholussum is tiny, fragile, and translucent, with a curvy, transparent shell to match.
"Only one living specimen was found," says a release about the discovery, first recorded in the journal Subterranean Biology, “…at the remarkable depth of 980 m, in an unnamed chamber full of rocks and sand and a small stream running through it.”
This snazzy new species is one of several species of snails that spend their days completely underground in the darkest dark, breathing air, yet unable to see. Zospeum are considered to be eutroglobionts, AKA exclusive cave-dwellers. So don’t expect to find one in your family’s garden.
To celebrate this discovery, a talk on snails and a talk on caves:
My life in caves: Andy Eavis at TEDxHull
Though not a discoverer of snails, TEDxHull speaker Andy Eavis has been exploring caves since he was 18. In this fascinating talk, he shares stories from his trips underground — with beautiful photos to boot.
What I’ve learned from snails: Panagiota Vlachou at TEDxAcademy
What can you learn from a plate of snails? A lot. At TEDxAcademy in Greece, heliciculturalist (now you know the technical term for snail farmer) Panagiota Vlachou explains how she came to farm snails, and how — for her — they became a symbol of economic recovery and even feminism. (Filmed in Greek with English subtitles)
(Photos: Top left, Croatian Speleological Server, Top right, Alexander M. Weigand; Bottom, Jana Bedek, HBSD)