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New Snail Species Discovered In Croatia's Deepest Cave

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the fresh-face dept.

Science 34

minty3 writes "The new snail species, Zospeum tholussum, has no eyes or pigmentation on its shell and is considered to be a true eutroglobiont or cave-dweller. It was found by a team of cavers and biologists from the Croatian Biospeleological Society. While on an expedition to determine the cave’s depth, they collected animal specimens including one of the previously unidentified snails along with eight of its empty shells."

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34 comments

Frost piss (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44865995)

Frost piss

Lives in dark? No pigment? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866045)

What's his Slashdot UID?

And I bet he never gets first post, either....

I guess you could say it's been a... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866047)

Slow news day?

Not new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866117)

It's not a new species. It just took a LONG time to get down there.

Wow... (2)

djupedal (584558) | about 7 months ago | (#44866149)

Talk about your slow news day...

Re:Wow... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866177)

It took you 15 minutes after the original was posted to repost this joke... and I thought the snails were slow.

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866553)

To be fair, DJ-u-pedal was pedaling as fast as he could.

Great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866193)

Why is this here? No, it's not stuff that matters, nor is it news for nerds. The only ones that *might* give a flying fuck are the french (and we dont care about them as well)....

Re:Great (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 7 months ago | (#44866275)

I'm sorry... there's spelunking. There's caves (trolls! darkness!). There's a brand-new species. It doesn't even have eyes (take that, Beholder!). It's something that makes a neat trace for evolution (eat that, micro-evolutionists!). It shows what is necessary for species to survive - sometimes, that's something completely different from what we expect.

And somehow, that's not news for nerds? Stuff that matters? Go shove your "I need things to cater to myself exclusively" attitude so far up your ass that you'll find your own species of blind, unpigmented species of snails.

Re:Great (2)

tedgyz (515156) | about 7 months ago | (#44866327)

I'm sorry... there's spelunking. There's caves (trolls! darkness!). There's a brand-new species. It doesn't even have eyes (take that, Beholder!)...

Ok, what are the odds of two /. stories containing references to the Beholder? Here is the other comment on the 3D gun art story: Art [slashdot.org]

What is even more weird is that I just found my box of D&D books in my parents attic. I showed my kids, including the Beholder. Sadly, they were disinterested in the books. Video games makes it way too easy to play RPG.

Re:Great (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866447)

Doesn't really do much for "micro-evolutionists", as the removal of functionality (sight) isn't particularly impressive, and "species" is largely-arbitrary human categorization.

Now, present in specific detail how the transition from asexual to sexual reproduction occurred, and I'll be more impressed.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866763)

You tell us how God came to exist and I'll be equally as impressed.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866963)

> Now, present in specific detail how the transition from asexual to sexual ...
You stop playing D&D in the basement, start showering, get a girlfriend and suddenly it's no longer asexual

Re:Great (1)

Valdrax (32670) | about 7 months ago | (#44866681)

It's science. It's the discovery of a new species. It involves caves and exploration to depths previously unreached. It involves slimy creatures that the mainstream wouldn't love -- tiny little snails with no eyes and translucent shells and bodies that hitch a ride on bigger mammals to cover large distances. Where is your inner child such that you look at those pictures and feel no sense of wonder or joy about it?

If you can't find a single nerdy interest in all of this, and all you have to offer is some redneck nationalism, then I'd say to turn in your geek card, but you probably never had one in the first place.

Re:Great (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 7 months ago | (#44867423)

Dwelling in the depths in a dark, moist environment? No pigmentation? Only moves a few centimetres every week?

This has Slashdot written all over it.

New Taste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866377)

Are they tasty with garlic and butter sauce? If not, than seal the cave and scratch them off the "discovered" list.

And now extinct! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44866649)

Awesome! We find a new snail species, collect only known specimen, and then will promptly end up killing it by doing so!

Is there anything in the scientific method about the ethics of species discovery and potential extinction? Have to wonder how much discovery has led to species extinction in the past 100 years

Re:And now extinct! (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#44867137)

100% of species that went extinct in our lifetime were discovered first.

Pretty clear correlation, 'eh?

Re:And now extinct! (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | about 7 months ago | (#44867697)

Awesome! We find a new snail species, collect only known specimen, and then will promptly end up killing it by doing so!

Is there anything in the scientific method about the ethics of species discovery and potential extinction? Have to wonder how much discovery has led to species extinction in the past 100 years

Um, if they just took the only living member of the species out of the cave, I'm pretty sure that the species was already doomed to become extinct in the very near future.

Truly true? (4, Informative)

WillKemp (1338605) | about 7 months ago | (#44866739)

... is considered to be a true eutroglobiont ...

That's tautology - "eutroglobiont" means "true cave dwelling organism" - the "eu" prefix means "true".

Re:Truly true? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44867479)

Really? I would have pegged it as a fallacy...

The "no true Scotsman" fallacy, in particular. I mean, isn't it a bit snobbish to imply that all other cave dwellers aren't actually "proper" cave dwellers? By whose standards?

For a second there (1)

whargoul (932206) | about 7 months ago | (#44866901)

I thought I gave a shit...turns out it was just gas.

Re: For a second there (1)

Travis Repine (2861521) | about 7 months ago | (#44867579)

Nah, it was the snails that gave a shit when they revealed themselves to the scientists. Then as they say, history is made!

Why a shell at all? (1)

Major Byte (669826) | about 7 months ago | (#44867853)

It must be (biologically) expensive to grow a shell, so this critter must have them for a pretty good reason. Protection from other snails? To survive dry periods? To be less edible to "a small, slimy creature" with "lamp-like" eyes?

"its empty shells" (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 7 months ago | (#44868009)

Does this mean that this snail molts, or was that a poorly-written way of saying eight empty shells from the same species?

2mm per week in circles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44872181)

Are they also the slowest species?
And what exactly are they eating to exist?
At that scale I guess you don't need much.

And, had to laugh when the article mentioned their movement around the cave system via water or "hitching a ride" on other animals.
At 2mm per week does the animal wait or was it the survivors on the bottom of spelunkers' boots that got them around?

Am I the only one.. (1)

angiasaa (758006) | about 7 months ago | (#44877233)

..who thought that they actually expected to find eyes on its shell? :-o

Zospeum tholussum, has no eyes or pigmentation on its shell

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