Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes
We have a large diversity of "creepy crawlies" inside and on the surface of the cave. Our region also has at least 30 endemic cave invertebrates. This is not surprising, as caves hold more rare animals than anywhere or nearly anywhere else. The Sierra Nevada and Klamath-Siskiyous were a single mountain range during the Jurassic reign of the dinosaurs. If rejoined, the combined regions hold enough species to be one of the six hotspots of cave biodiversity in the U.S.
Cave critters have evolved ways to save or acquire energy, they manage to live longer, move more efficiently, and have a higher survival rate for the young (few large eggs and long term caring of young). Many cave-adapted species save energy by reducing or altogether eliminating vision and pigments. Most have developed longer limbs, bodies and/or antenna for finding food faster in darkness.
Did You Know?
The most complete jaguar fossil in the United States was discovered inside Oregon Caves in 1995 by crews who were working on a map of the cave.