Subversive Science: Sunken Garden Cave Census Proves Spooky

Just in time for Halloween, a new study sponsored by the Natural Speleological Society put some hard numbers to the expected spatial distribution of cave dwellers in the Great Basin National Park’s Lehman Caves in Nevada. The study, which focused on an area known as the Sunken Gardens, censused the occupancy of such resident trogloxene species as crickets, spiders, pseudoscorpions, mites, springtails, and bats based on the transverse dispersion of ecological niches within speleothem deposits (stalactites) along a cross section of the cave formation. The study’s results speak for themselves:

(The idea for this illustration came to me several years ago but it never made it past the pages of my notebook; Halloween seemed like the perfect time to dust it off.)

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