Different factors affect the natural habitat of living things. For instance, the subterranean fauna refers to animals that are only adapted to living in underground environments. Different species are adapted to living in underground environments as described below.
Also known as the proteus, the olm is a sea-dwelling creature. Olm belongs to the Proteidae family, and it is the only remaining cave-dwelling species mostly found in Europe. The most striking feature of this amphibian is its unique ability to live in underwater caves for the rest of its lives. It is described as being blind, and this can be the main reason why this aquatic salamander spends most of its life hiding in caves. Its hearing sensors are highly enhanced to understand its surrounding better. Olm is classified as being entirely carnivores. Therefore, it obtains its food from eating other small sea invertebrates such as worms, snails, and other marine insects.
Earthworms are classified as being underground living animals because of their ability to exist in land soils. There are different species of earthworms, and they are all adapted to living in different underground habitats. However, most of these species exist in moist soils and areas with plenty of dead plants. The earthworms are best known to exist in rainy forests; however, they can be found in different habitats such as inland and fresh water. These worms spend most of their lives below the soil surface where there are abundant decomposing plant materials that they can eat.
8. Cave Beetle
The Cave Beetle as the name suggests, is a type of beetle that are adapted to living in caves. There are different species of Cave Beetles, but they are all described as being blind and hence their ability to live in caves for their entire lives. The different types of cave beetles include the Kretschmarr Cave mold beetle (Texamaurops reddelli), the Coffin Cave mold beetle (Batrisodes texanus), and the Anophthalmus Hitleri. The various species exhibit different characteristics, for instance, the Anophthalmus Hitleri is mostly found in the wet caves of Slovenia and displays no extended attributes, such as the presence of antennae and wild colors, like the other beetles.
The armadillo is small sized mammal that spends most of its lives in moist soils. The most conspicuous characteristic of this species is the notable leathery armor distinguishing them from the rest of the underground animals. Armadillo is a Spanish word meaning the little-armored one. These species are excellent diggers and thus spend most of their lives digging in such for dens and food. They are mostly known to build burrows in moist soils and pay most of their lives here just feeding and reproducing.
Moles are described as being tiny mammals and are found in the entire globe with the exceptions of the Antarctic and South America. This type of species is known to dwell in areas that are mostly covered by sand so that they can dig tunnels. However, these mammals tend to avoid mountainous areas and acidic soils. Even though these mammals dig burrows to travel, they subdivide these tunnels into different individual chambers that are used for various functions. For example, these moles divide the tubes into bedrooms that are used to give birth. The moles are classified as being underground mammals because they spend their entire live digging tunnels.
Bilby is mostly known to live in solitary because various predators mostly hunt these species. They construct several burrows underground and use them as hiding places. In addition, they avoid daytime heat. Bilby is mostly found in the arid regions. Therefore, they dig deep into the soil to avoid daytime heat experienced in these regions. They spirally dig their burrows making it hard for predators to access them. These species are classified as desert-dwelling omnivores feeding mostly on seeds, insects, and fungi.
Chipmunks are mostly distinguished from the rest of the rodents because of their big cute eyes and their striped bodies. These species are rarely found and are known to only exist in North America and some parts of Asia. Despite the fact that these species are capable of making nests in bushes and logs, a more significant percentage of the chipmunks prefer digging substantial underground burrows. It is through this character that the chipmunks have been classified as being underground living animals.
Badgers are small short-legged mammals with bodies and short legs adapted explicitly for digging. These species are mostly found in North America, Great Britain, and some parts of Ireland. The Badgers are carnivorous with their diet mainly being earthworms and eggs. These species are adapted to living in open areas such as farms, parklands, and areas with no trees. The badgers mostly exist in the above-mentioned places for food supply. They are known to live in underground tunnels that have been classified into different chambers. These species prefer living in places with soil that is well drained for easy digging.
Cony is pig-shaped, and it is mostly related to the rabbit only that it lacks a tail. Conies are known to build their homes in the rocks of mountains. This animal neither is a rodent nor is it a ruminant; it is classified as akin to the rhinoceros species. Unlike the rabbit, conies feet are not designed for digging, therefore, prefer living in rock clefts rather than burrows. The conies are omnivorous, feeding mostly on grasses, leaves, fruits, lizards, bird’s eggs and insects. These species are classified as an underground animal since it spends most of their life hiding in rocks to avoid being killed by potential predators.
Ants are underground living insects that are said to have evolved from wasp-like ancestors around 140 million years ago. Ants are found all over the globe except for the Antarctica region due to the cold weather conditions experienced in these areas. The most notable characteristic of the ants is their ability to build colonies underground. The ants are also the only ants with a fully structured governing system; they ants are capable of dividing tasks and are capable of solving complex problems just like humans.
What Kind of Animals Live Underground?
Some of the animals that live underground include the olm, the armadillo, the mole, and the badger.
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