Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty
 

Seemingly Inhospitable Arizona Cave System Found Teeming With Life

PHOENIX (UPI) — An underground ecosystem discovered in an Arizona cave system is teeming with microbes surviving on nothing more than drip water, rock and air, researchers say.

The Kartchner Caverns, a limestone cave system beyond the reach of sunlight and seemingly devoid of life, boast an unexpected diversity of microorganisms that rival microbial communities on the Earth’s surface, they said.

Though tiny, the microbes constitute thriving communities of life, they said.

“We discovered all the major players that make up a typical ecosystem,” said researcher scientist Julie Neilson of the university’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “From producers to consumers, they’re all there, just not visible to the naked eye.”

DNA swabbed from stalactites and other cave formations allowed the researchers to identify the bacteria and archaea — single-celled microorganisms that lack a cell nucleus — living in the cave.

“We didn’t expect to find such a thriving ecosystem feasting on the scraps dripping in from the world above,” Neilson said. “What is most interesting is that what we found mirrors the desert above: an extreme environment starved for nutrients, yet flourishing with organisms that have adapted in very unique ways to this type of habitat.”

“It shows the flexibility of microbes,” she said. “They have conquered every niche on the planet.”

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Seemingly Inhospitable Arizona Cave System Found Teeming With Life”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at newstips@personalliberty.com

Bottom
close[X]

Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to PersonalLiberty.com,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.