Thursday, June 01, 2006

Ancient ecosystem found in Israeli cave

Scientists discovered a prehistoric ecosystem sealed off from the rest of the world for millions of years near the Israeli city of Ramle.

Eight new species of animals have been discovered in the cave and researchers expect more will be found as exploration continues.

Researchers explore a cave near Ramle, Israel on May 26.
Researchers explore a cave near Ramle, Israel on May 26. Reuters photo from Yahoo News.

Dr Hanan Dimantman, a biologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said the cave probably dates back to a period when the Mediterrranean Sea covered parts of Israel.

All the species in the cave lacked eyes, which is thought to have resulted from evolution over long periods in the dark environment.

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