The Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association

Evolution of Chinese cave millipedes

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Project title: 
Evolution of Chinese cave millipedes
ZFMK Project lead: 
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Description

Southern Chinca is especially rich in caves. Caves are a different world, a world which differs in almost all aspects from the one on the Earth surface. Aside from the obvious lack of light, is the climate inside a cave relatively constant (with low temperatures); caves also lack food, but predator groups like vertebrates such as birds, rodents or shrews are totally absent. These caves are inhabited by a unique, still little-known fauna, especially diverse are different groups of millipedes.

These cave millipedes, not closely related to one another, all show similar adaptation to the life inside a cave and look vastly different from their close relatives which live in the forests on the surface.

Currently, a joint team of researchers from Russia, China and Germany studies general adaptations of millipedes to the life inside caves using comparative morphology.

 

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Head of Section Myriapoda
Curator
Responsible Editor Bonn zoological Bulletin - Supplementum
+49 228 9122-425
+49 228 9122-212
t.wesener [at] leibniz-zfmk.de