At least eight species of unknown lifeforms were found which closely resemble scorpions. Dimantman also said that the cave has been sealed off from the outside world, receiving no sunlight for at least 5 million years, when parts of Israel were under the Mediterranean Sea. The lifeforms consist of four freshwater and seawater species and at least four terrestial species. Scientists believe that they are related. Bacteria was also found, which scientists say served as food for the lifeforms. DNA tests have shown these lifeforms to be “unique” and unknown in science.
“Every species we examined had no eyes which means they lost their sight due to evolution,” added Dimantman. “This is a cave of fantastic biodiversity.”
The cave has been closed off so that researchers can examine it further.
- “Cave reveals unknown species”. The Times Online, May 31, 2006
- “Previously Unknown Prehistoric Species Discovered In Israel Cave”. Playfuls.com, May 31, 2006
- “Scientists discover prehistoric cave in Israel”. Reuters, May 31, 2006
- Hebrew University “Unique Underground Ecosystem Revealed by Hebrew University Researchers Uncovers Eight Previously Unknown Species”. Department of Media Relations, Hebrew University, May 31, 2006