Alive and kicking

The movile cave in Romania, has existed for more than five million years without any contact with the outside world. The cave houses about 50 invertebrate species, of which 33 are unique to the cave (Science, Vol 270, No 5239).

Biologists from the University of Cincinnati, USA, believe that the cave, a 'biodiversity hot- spot' represents a self-contained ecosystem thriving on hydrogen- sulphide oxidising bacteria which represents the beginning of the food chain.