Extreme Caves Science 2013—Extreme Environments By: Kendra Seguin
How are Caves Created? • By water chipping an opening into cliffs at the edge of a coastline • By forming in karst, one type of landscape. Acidic water goes through the cracks and creates a bunch of passages. Once a passage becomes big enough, it can be considered a cave. What is the Climate of Caves? • Cold. • Damp. • Lots of air moisture. • Not big changes through seasons. • The climate change is the smallest in the deepest part of the cave.
What Conditions Make Caves So Difficult to Survive in? • Darkness. • No sunlight (this is why many plants do not grow in caves). • Cold temperatures. • Not enough plants/ vegetation growing.
Are There Any Caves in Canada? • There are caves all across Canada but it seems there are the most in B.C. • One cave in B.C. is called the Arctomys Cave. It is one of the deepest caves in Canada. The Arctomys Cave is at Mount Robson Provincial Park in the Rocky Mountains. It is on the east of B.C.
What Technology is Used to Survive in Caves? • Because humans cannot permanently survive in caves, there is no technology to permanently survive in caves. • For temporary survival: • Warm, layered clothing • Flashlight (extra batteries) • Helmet • Cellphone
What is a Past Exploration of Caves? • One was by Krejca and Despain in Hurricane Crawl. They had to squeeze their bodies through the cave to scan walls and turn over rocks looking for cave life. • Another day, they explored Crystal Cave. Something they found was an acorn and a rodent dropping. This created a whole eco-system. There was multi-coloured fungi, quarter-inch millipedes and many other things. • On a different morning, the team went to explore Kaweah Cave. Here, they discovered a grey creature with absent eyes. It looked like a scorpion without the scary, stinging tail but with claws that inject venom.
What are Challenges to Exploring Caves? • Destroying the environment. There are many ways to do it (shedding hairs, dandruff or lint is one way as it alters the eco-system) so you have to be very careful. • Getting through the cave as it could be tight. • Finding the creatures you are looking for. What Technology is Used to Explore Caves? • Flashlight. To shine light as you are looking for new creatures. • Headlamps. To help you see. • Extra Batteries. • Diving Equipment (if underwater). To keep you breathing. • Photo Documentation.
How Can We Explore Caves Responsibly? • By respecting the land. Did you know that it is a criminal defence to destroy cave environments? • By carefully exploring the cave. We don’t want any small organisms getting hurt. • By careful inspection of the cave. Lightly brushing the small organisms could possibly kill them. • By visiting caves in small periods of time. Humans over-visiting could bring in lots of lint, dandruff, and hair which could create new fungi or bacteria and the eco-system could change.
What Organisms Live in Caves? • Trogloxenes (Come and Go): • Bats • Bears • Raccoons • Troglophiles (Enjoy Cave Living): • Frogs • Salamanders • Crickets • Troglobites (Live Entire Life in Cave): • Cave Fish • Shrimp • Millipedes
Why are Caves Important to Investigate? • Some scientists believe that cave life will give an idea of how life would be on other planets. • Other scientists believe that organisms that have adapted with absent eyes give an idea into abnormal eye conditions.
Work Cited: • Krajick, Kevin. “Discoveries in the Dark.” National Geographic. Sept. 2007. http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/09/new-troglobites/new-troglobites-text.html • Ronca, Debra. "How Cave Biology Works" 20 April 2009. HowStuffWorks.com. http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/biology-fields/cave-biology1.htm • Roach, John. Scientist Journeys Into Caves for Clues to Extreme Life. National Geographic. April 30, 2001. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/04/0427_cavesextremophiles.html • National Geographic. “Caves. Underground Chambers.” http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/earth/surface-of-the-earth/caves-article/ • Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. “Arctomys Cave.” Wikipedia. August 7, 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctomys_Cave • Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia. “List of caves in Canada.” Wikipedia. January 3, 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_caves_in_Canada • The Canadian Cave Conservancy. “Projects. Photomonitoring System.” http://www.canadiancaveconservancy.ca/projects.htm • Wiki How. “How to Survive in a Cave.” http://www.wikihow.com/Survive-in-a-Cave