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A salamander isolated for thousands of years

Shaped by thousands of years living in darkness, this strange creature has lost its eyes, its pigmentation and the use of its legs. 😼 Meet the Texas blind salamander.

An animal cut off from the world for thousands of years


Living in a dark place with little oxygen or food
What would that animal look like? Like this.

This is Eurycea rathbuni, or the Texas blind salamander. It’s called a troglobite, a species that lives exclusively in caves. Like other troglobites, it only exists in an extremely specific and isolated environment.

This salamander is only found in one place on Earth: a network of caves near the city of San Marcos, Texas. These dark, underwater caves have had a major impact on this salamander’s evolution. It has lost all its pigmentation, making its body look translucent and revealing the blood circulating inside. The blood is especially visible near its external gills, which allow it to obtain all the oxygen it needs while staying underwater.

This aquatic lifestyle has also caused its legs to atrophy, since they no longer need to support its body weight. More remarkably, it has lost its eyes over time, they’re now reduced to two black spots. To compensate, it detects its prey using its highly sensitive skin, which can detect water movement. In its isolated environment, it’s at the top of the food chain, feeding mainly on small shrimp. To determine the sex of its congeners in order to reproduce, it uses chemical signals.

But since these signals must travel through water, the already limited population of this salamander is made very fragile by any pollution in its environment. For this reason, it is considered federally endangered and measures are taken to protect the water sources flowing into its habitat.

Brut.

01/30/2020 8:05 AM

22 comments

  • Anjaneai S.
    01/19/2021 16:32

    A similar species is found in Postojna Caves in Slovenia.

  • Venkataraman S.
    01/17/2021 11:21

    Wow great survival theory of Darwin

  • Muhammad T.
    01/17/2021 04:42

    Well

  • Dev A.
    01/17/2021 03:38

    Meet the people who vote for bigotry. They have the exact same features.

  • Manu G.
    01/17/2021 00:49

    Another cave species found in India during election with no brain.

  • Mujahid A.
    01/16/2021 23:43

    This thing has many similarities to a typical Indian Voter. đŸ€Ł

  • Naushad A.
    01/16/2021 20:50

    I think Brut should come meghalaya to document about caves recently world longest cave found in meghalaya it is about 24km long Krem puri -mawsynram Meghalaya (India)

  • Jasheela A.
    01/16/2021 19:42

    Perfect example of Darwin’s theory of evolution..😊

  • Bah B.
    01/16/2021 19:11

    Brut please come to North East(Meghalaya) Jaintia District India to witness the dead river

  • Derek M.
    11/01/2020 05:40

    By the description in the beginning I thought it was going to be Joe Biden.

  • Aroti B.
    08/17/2020 15:39

    Wow amazing

  • Nima T.
    08/10/2020 14:03

    There're blind fishes found in cave networks of Meghalaya in North-east India. Does Brut know this??

  • Hans Z.
    08/09/2020 14:23

    This is me for sure.

  • Rajiv S.
    08/09/2020 14:13

    U should also mention size and approx hiw much it weighs..

  • Pwyngam P.
    08/09/2020 11:55

    Axylotl methinks.

  • Ariel F.
    08/09/2020 09:50

    💚

  • Donna B.
    08/09/2020 09:41

    đŸ˜ČđŸ˜ČđŸ˜ČđŸ˜ČđŸ˜Č learn something new everyday đŸ€·đŸ‘

  • Donna W.
    05/07/2020 09:54

    More strange living creatures that hail from Texas! 😋

  • Lauren S.
    05/07/2020 04:49

    At first I thought this was the axolotols

  • Lindsay G.
    05/05/2020 15:18

    Can we start an experiment of how well politicians would adapt?

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