Caving News from Science Daily

Central Texas salamanders, including newly identified species, at risk of extinction

Biologists have discovered three new species of groundwater salamander in Central Texas, including one living west of Austin that they say is critically endangered. They also determined that an already known salamander species near Georgetown is much more endangered than previously thought. They warn that more severe droughts caused by climate change and increasing water use in Central Texas have left groundwater salamanders 'highly vulnerable to extinction.'

Evolution: South Africa's hominin record is a fair-weather friend

The fossil record of early hominins in South Africa is biased towards periods of drier climate, suggests a study of cave deposits. This finding suggests there are gaps in the fossil record, potentially obscuring evolutionary patterns and affecting our understanding of both the habitats and dietary behaviors of early hominins in this region. South Africa's highest concentration of early hominin fossils comes from the 'Cradle of Humankind' caves northwest of Johannesburg.

A Mexican cavefish with a scarred heart

Scientists are studying a guppy-sized, blind, translucent fish that lives in the cave systems of northern Mexico to figure out why some animals can regenerate their hearts, while others just scar.