Sunday, April 28, 2013

Amazing facts-Waitomo Glowworm Cave

Waitomo Glowworm Cave (New Zealand): a glowworms’ paradise

The Waitomo Glowworm Cave is a cave on the North Island of New Zealand, known for its population of glowworms, Arachnocampa luminosa. These glowworms spin a nest out of silk on the ceiling of the cave and then hang down. Then, the larva glows to attract prey into its threads, so that the roof of a cave is covered with larva can look remarkably like the heavens at night. A hungry larva glows brighter than one which has just eaten.

amazing-facts-waitomo-cavesA silicon strand is lowered from the ceiling, alongside hundreds of others. Beautiful though these threads are, they have a sinister purpose. To trap its prey it [the cave glow worm] goes fishing with a line of silk. That ghostly blue light is the result of a chemical reaction taking place inside a special capsule in its tail. Insects seem irresistibly drawn towards the source and then get trapped by the sticky lines. Once stuck, there is no escape. Now it’s just a matter of reeling in the line and slowly consuming the catch – alive. By ensnaring the insects that hatch in this cave, these glow worms have solved the biggest challenge that permanent cave dwellers face finding a regular and reliable source of food.


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