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Caves of California Parks Yield Tiny Discoveries

Sequoia National Park in California may be famous for its massive trees, but some very tiny creatures that live there are also making news. Biologists have discovered new species of spiders, millipedes, and other critters deep in the underground caves of the park.

So far, reports Sasha Khokha of member station KQED, scientists have discovered 27 new species in caves throughout Central California, at Sequoia and at Kings Canyon National Park. They found creatures so tiny they couldn't pick them up with tweezers. Some had to be collected on the delicate ends of a paintbrush.

The spiders and centipedes were pickled and shipped off to taxonomists all around the world. The experts have confirmed that while these little creatures may be close to relatives above ground, they've adapted into completely different species. Now, the next task is to give all of them names.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sasha Khokha