Parco Regionale dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell'Abbadessa
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Home » Nature and Territory » Parco Regionale dei Gessi Bolognesi e Calanchi dell'Abbadessa » Protected Area » Fauna

Cave fauna

Subterranean environments, characterized by a lack of light, high humidity levels and a constant temperature, feature interesting and complex ecosystems. The darkness impedes the growth of plants, therefore cave animals do not include any primary consumers, whereas there are many predators and animals that feed on decomposing organic matter. Many cave dwelling animals have significant adaptations. One of the most typical adaptations is the reduction in the size of their eyes, some being even totally blind, whereas other sensory organs, such as antennae and tactile bristles, are highly developed. Another characteristic is depigmentation, that is, the total or partial lack of body pigments, and these animals are often milky white or yellow. There are many invertebrate species in caves, especially crustaceans, arachnids, centipedes and insects. In addition to those animals living exclusively in subterranean environments, other animal species use caves simply for shelter or as stopping and resting places: no doubt, the best known example being bats. Numerous species, such as the common bent-wing bat, various vesper bats and horseshoe bats, use cave walls and recesses for winter hibernation, daily rest and mating. The most typical species are horseshoe bats (rinolofidi), common bent-wing bats and vesper bats.
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