Bermuda Cave Shrimp (Mictocaris halope)

This shrimp was first discovered by cave divers and explorers in 1985.  It is a new species that has never been found before and it does not exist anywhere else in the world except Bermuda. They are stygobitic, which means that they only live in caves (specifically those filled with sea water) in areas away from daylight.  They are small (growing to only 3 ½ mm long), colourless, and blind.  Rarely seen resting or walking on the bottom of these caves, this species prefers to swim through the water instead.  This shrimp is well adapted to the cave environment and has probably been living there for a very long time.  They are considered to be critically endangered and are threatened mainly by quarrying activities (when caves are deliberately broken apart and the rock crushed up) and pollution of the water in the caves by the dumping of trash, sewage and chemicals.

Mictocaris halope is considered Critically Endangered, and is protected under the Bermuda Protected Species Act along with 20 other species of cave-dwelling invertebrates.

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