Student Research Pages - Texas Caves
Before we learn how cool the critters are that live in our Texas caves, let’s find out about some of the coolest caves in Texas.
Most of our caves are tucked down into the ground and, unless someone told you, you’d never know what awesome surprises await underneath the brush and the cactus!
Kickapoo Cavern State Park
While still above ground, listen for lots of birds, including the chirp of the endangered Golden Cheeked Warbler.
Once below ground, get ready to oooohhh and aaaaahhhh as you find
yourself surrounded by 4 million-year-old formations. One formation is 80-feet high and the tallest cave column in the whole state of Texas!
Then gaze at beautiful formations we call "drapery." Drapery is another word for "curtains," like what covers your windows.
Longhorn Cavern State Park
Fossil remains show that ice-age animals may once have lived inside this cave. Isn’t that cool?
Longhorn Cavern was created when limestone eroded. Limestone is a special kind of rock that water can slowly go through.
Water carved this underground cavern using erosion. Remember what erosion is? Erosion is when water or wind change the way parts of the earth are shaped.
Erosion is why this cave looks very different inside from many of our other Texas caves. Since Longhorn Cavern was made from erosion its walls are mostly smooth.
This cave has big chambers like big rooms. Because of its big chambers, Longhorn Cavern has been used for a lot of things, including a home for Texas Indians. Also, during the Civil War the Confederates made and hid gunpowder here. This cave was also once a place where people liked to go dancing. Another time it was a church. There’s even a legend that the train robber, Sam Bass, hid here from the law.
Colorado Bend State Park
Instead of one big cave, what you find at Colorado Bend State Park is a bunch a little caves. But wait! They are still really cool!!
In fact, something very cool about this place are the “Cave Crawling Tours.” When you crawl through these caves, you get to see a lot more wildlife than most other caves, partly because most of these caves have more than one entrance.
Also, there’s a lot of other cool stuff to do at Colorado Bend State Park, too, including springs for swimming and the Colorado River for fishing.
And, from about January through April, keep a lookout along the river’s edge for Bald Eagles, which have been known to nest here. Mom and dad eagles swoop into the river to catch fish. When they get one you can watch them fly with it in their talons as they take it back to the nest to feed their hungry babies.
If you sit by the shore and patiently watch you just might see some of that kind of action when you’re not busy cave crawling!
Devil’s Sinkhole State Natural Area
This is one cave you won’t be going in – but, wait – that’s okay because what you really want to see is what comes OUT!
Well...what does come out? 3 to 4 million bats that’s WHAT!
Yes...you read that right – 3 to 4 MILLION! There are so many bats that every single night during spring and summer they fly up and up and uuuuup for at least a whole hour. So many bats come out each night to go search for their insect suppers that it’s like a tornado springing up out of this deep hole in the ground.
Devil’s Sinkhole is about 350 feet deep – that’s like a whole football field plus about 1/6th of another one, too! It drops just about straight down and then branches out into two directions that continue going down. Only scientists and professional cavers are allowed to explore Devil’s Sinkhole because it’s very dangerous.