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2020年度 第1回 生命科学教室セミナー

Life in darkness. What cave animals can teach us about Evolution and Climate Change

Francesco Ballarin
(Systematic Zoology Laboratory, TMU)

The subterranean environment is a very special habitat. Deep inside a cave there is no light, there are no days and no seasons, temperature and humidity are the same along the whole year and the food is scarce. To survive in a so strange and difficult environment cave animals need special features and amazing specializations including the loss of eyes and colors, elongation of legs, change of behavior and so on. In addition, cave animals are also very sensitive to any change of their habitat, they can slow adapt following long geological and climate events but also quickly die and get extinct if the change is rapid. Because of these special features subterranean animals are ideal models to study the evolutionary processes and the effects of the Climate Change on living organisms including the recent Global Warming. In this lecture we will briefly explore life in caves and why it is so interesting to study.


©2015 Department of Biological Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University