A researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory helped discover a small cave snail.
The new snail species has been named the Tennessee cavesnail, or Antrorbis tennesseensis. Its name honors the state where it was found and the fact that several researchers involved in its discovery are affiliated with the University of Tennessee. A paper describing and naming the species was published in December.
The snail, which is less than two millimeters long, was found in two caves in Roane County a few miles south of the Oak Ridge Reservation. The reservation includes ORNL and parts of the city of Oak Ridge.
The snail is found on or under rocks far inside the caves, usually in streams that aren’t too muddy or silty, ORNL said. Researchers recommended that the species be listed as endangered.
The ORNL researcher is Evin Carter. He is a research associate and wildlife ecologist at ORNL, which is a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory. With only a handful of surveys completed so far, Carter has plans to survey the 40 or so other caves on the Oak Ridge Reservation, ORNL said.[Read more…]