Cave Creatures - Vocabulary

Cover-Cave Creatures

Vocabulary - definitions and context

a type of cave that grows formations called "speleothems"
Context: Longhorn Cavern is a cavern where fossils of ice-age animals have been found.
a giant cave formation that sometimes looks like a column in a building
Context: Kickapoo Cavern features a cave column that's 80 feet high - the tallest one in Texas!
Dark zone:
the deepest and/or farthest parts of a cave where no sunlight reaches at all
Context: Animals that live in the dark zone usually won’t have much pigmentation since the sun never shines on their skin.
cave formations that look like the drapery (curtains) in our houses
Context: Even some of the small caves at Colorado Bend State Park have some drapery.
Entrance zone:
the area of a cave near the opening where sunlight comes in and green plants may grow
Context: Animals that live in the entrance zone are called "trogloxenes" and must leave the cave to find food.
when an animal's skin is darkened to protect it from the sun
Context: Troglobites, animals that live in cave dark zones, usually don't need pigmentation because the sun doesn't shine where they live.
formations that grow in caverns
Context: Most caverns in Texas are formed in limestone so their speleothems will be formed from limestone deposits.
a rock formation that looks like an icicle and hangs from the roof of a cave
Context: A stalactite hangs from the TOP and you can remember that because the word makes a lot of "T" sounds.
a rock formation that looks like a cone and is built from the cave floor
Context: It takes hundreds of years for a stalagmite to form, one drip at a time.
small animals with special adaptations so they can survive in dark caves
Context: The endangered Texas blind salamanders are very special troglobites!
small animals that could live their whole lives in a cave, but could also survive outside of a cave
Context: Earthworms and beetles are examples of troglophiles.
animals that live in the cave entrance zone, but can't stay there all the time
Context: Mexican free-tailed bats are examples of trogloxenes because, while they live in caves, they must leave them each evening to find the insects they eat.
Twilight zone:
the part of a cave that has very little sunlight and plants do not grow
Context: Often frogs live in the twilight zone because it is damp there.