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New Species Found in Yosemite Valley

New Species Found in Yosemite Valley

Scientists surveying rock piles and caves in the Yosemite Valley found a new species of pseudoscorpion about the size of a human fingernail. It has no stinger, and no eyes. “Pseudoscorpions are one of the great things to find in caves because they are at the top of the food chain in a cave. It is like finding a lion out on the savannah in Africa,” said biologist Jean Krejca.

(Source: Recordnet.com)

Yosemite Valley was formed by glacial erosion, as huge masses of ice moved breaking down the mountain granite. Rock slides and falls have left piles near the valley’s three thousand foot walls  and this is where the pseudoscorpion lives. It was given the name Yosemite Cave Pseudoscorpion (Parobisium yosemite). It was found in two talus caves, which are essentially holes between the huge boulders and rocks that have fallen from high above the valley floor. Some of the boulders are over twenty feet high, and covered with other rocks.

The Yosemite pseudoscorpion is completely harmless to humans, and preys upon tiny insects like mites, ants, and spiders. “We are thrilled about the new discovery of this fascinating species. Yosemite National Park is one of the great laboratories of the natural world and finds like this are incredibly exciting.  We will continue to study the pseudoscorpion, as well as look for other new species of flora and fauna,” said Niki Nicholas, a Yosemite resources management director. (Source: NPS.gov)

The location of the pseudoscorpions’ caves is not being disclosed to protect them from tourists who might step on them or degrade their tiny habitats. There are now sixteen known pseudoscorpion species in the world. Most of the other species live in Asian countries. Pseudoscorpions are troglobites – small cave-dwelling animals adapted to dark environments.

Biologists James Cokendolpher from Texas Tech University and Jean Krejca will continue conducting their study of the tiny creatures.

Image Credit: Jean Krejca

Related Links

New Owl Subspecies Found in Yosemite
Ten New Snail Species Discovered

Read more: Nature, Nature & Wildlife,

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5:53AM PDT on Apr 12, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:23PM PDT on Apr 10, 2012

Thankyou......

8:24AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

Just think of how wonderful it is to find new things, and at the same time they are killing off a lot of older things,and if the need comes they will kill this to.

9:43PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

thanks

2:57AM PST on Feb 17, 2012

W. Thanks.wo

8:17PM PST on Feb 16, 2012

The pseudoscorpion was a exciting find for the team.

2:40PM PST on Feb 15, 2012

Wow!

9:21AM PST on Feb 15, 2012

and perhaps another reason why mineral mining shouldn't be allowed to affect Yosemite, including caves

12:01PM PST on Jan 28, 2012

nice to hear of a discovery.

10:54AM PST on Jan 28, 2012

How wonderful to discover a new species so close to home!

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