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Ecosystem & Life

Mother Nature.

Experience a beautiful and perfect harmony.

Perfect Balance image

Perfect Balance

Everything works together in an ecosystem. Maintaining its balance is critical.

The Troglo Trio image

The Troglo Trio

Troglobites, troglophiles, and troglozenes. There are actual differences, besides the spelling.

Nature's Thermostat image

Nature's Thermostat

Set to 52 degrees year-round and combined with high humidity, you won’t be cold.

Total Darkness image

Total Darkness

Since total darkness exists beyond the cave entrance, only certain creatures can thrive.

Temperature

Perfectly chosen by Mother Nature.

Limestone caves maintain an almost constant year-round temperature. The temperature of the limestone is controlled by the average annual temperature of the area.

The Troglo Trio

Troglobites: Cave Dwellers

These animals must complete their entire life cycle inside a cave. Examples are isopods, millipedes, springtails, amphipods, and blind crayfish.

Troglophiles: Cave Lovers

These animals complete their life cycles inside or outside the cave. Examples are salamanders, cave crickets, spiders, flies, fungus gnats, and cave beetles.

Troglozenes: Cave Guests

These animals cannot complete their life cycle inside a cave. Examples are white footed mice and bats.

The Food Chain

The Underground Munching Order

Insects such as beetles and mites feed on mold and bacteria. Cave animals living in water also eat floating bacteria. Beetles, other insects, and small aquatic animals serve as food for the larger predators. Organic matter is returned to the cave environment through the dead bodies and droppings of these larger predators.

Fungi

Fungi are carried into the cave by air currents, in water, and on the bodies of animals. Fungi obtain their nourishment by breaking down the detritus inside the cave. Fungi (growing on decaying wood) can occasionally be found inside Marengo Cave.

Detritus

Since total darkness exists beyond the cave entrance, only a few non-green plants can grow in the cave’s dark interior. Detritus (organic debris) can be brought into the cave by surface water and flowing cave streams. Detritus consists of sticks, animal wastes, dead animals, leaves, and dead plants. It is the bottom of the food chain inside the cave.

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  Directions : 400 East State Road 64,
Marengo, IN 47140
  Directions : 400 East State Road 64,
Marengo, IN 47140