dwellers. Often, the cave served as a refuge from the
wild for the people. Many artifacts and paintings have
been found in caves.
Today some animals still find refuge and shelter inside
the walls of a dark cave. Three areas of the cave include:
the entrance zone, the twilight zone, and the dark zone. Each of these areas attract different animals.
In the entrance zone you can find trogloxenes. These
are animals such as mice, snakes, birds, or sometimes
bears. The twilight zone is home to the troglophiles.
These animals include: spiders, crickets, owls, and bats.
In the dark zone the animals are called troglobites. They
are animals such as salamanders, fish worms, and other
insects. The cave fish and the cave cricket live their
entire life inside a cave.
The dwellers of this underworld, are different from woodland creatures. Many of them are born in caves and never see the light of day. Some are without eyes; others may have little use for sight, but their other senses are very keen.
The most common dwellers in some caves are hibernating bats. These bats live only on flying insects. Everyone has heard the expression "blind as a bat". Well, it is really just a superstition. Actually bats have well-developed eyes. However, in a cave on summer nights, bats depend on "sonar" to detect high pitched sounds that bounce off of objects.
One of the rarest of the cave dwellers are those without eyes. Blind fish, for example, live only in a few regions. The life of white eyeless fishes, blind salamanders, and crayfishes is spent underground. Tiny beetles and millipedes that run over the muddy floors of caves are often sightless, too.
Bat droppings begin the food chain that supports the dwellers of caves. Flood waters also carry in other sources of food. The leaves and wood that the water carries provides nourishment for insects and millipedes.