This amazing creature is a newly-discovered species of cave-dwelling snail. Named Zospeum tholussum, the fragile and tiny snail has a translucent body and a beautiful dome-like shell that’s also almost completely transparent.
Dr. Alexander Weigand of Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany discovered the snail in the Lukina Jama–Trojama cave system, the deepest cave system in Croatia.
"Dr Weigand found only one living specimen of Zospeum tholussum in an unnamed large chamber at the remarkable depth of 980 m.
“The single living specimen was found in an unnamed large chamber with lots of stones, rocks and sand. A temporal small stream of running water was present close to the collecting site. Air temperature was between 3.3 – 3.5 degrees Celsius, water temperature 5.1 degrees Celsius and air humidity 100 per cent. Shells were observed beginning from 800 m depth till the bottom of the cave. Shells were generally found on layers of mud,” Dr Weigand wrote in a paper published in the open-access journal Subterranean Biology.”
Images via J. Bedek and Dr. Alexander Weigand respectively.
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