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The Remipede

This species of remipede, Pleomothra fragilis, newly described in 1989, was found in Oven Rock Cave, an anchialine cave in the Exuma Cays, Bahamas. Remipedes are a primitive class of crustacean believed to be one of the oldest crustacean groups on Earth, possibly dating back 200 million years to the time of the dinosaurs. Remipedes look similar to centipedes and have hollow-tip fangs for injecting venom. They are hermaphrodites. Many previously unknown species of higher taxa live in anchialine (a Greek word meaning "near the sea") caves. These caves are coastal and form in limestone or volcanic rock. They flood with seawater and include the longest submerged caves on Earth. Most species found here do not have eyes or pigment since they live in perpetual darkness.

Visit Website | Image credit: Thomas M. Iliffe, Texas A&M University at Galveston