That Word You Heard: Troglomorphism

Deep within cave systems, creatures dwell their whole life shrouded in darkness. Some, like the aptly named blind catfish, have even progressed to be totally eyeless. Other folks, like sure cave spiders and centipedes, have elongated limbs that serve as sensory organs. Just about all are semitranslucent and devoid of […]

Deep within cave systems, creatures dwell their whole life shrouded in darkness. Some, like the aptly named blind catfish, have even progressed to be totally eyeless. Other folks, like sure cave spiders and centipedes, have elongated limbs that serve as sensory organs. Just about all are semitranslucent and devoid of pigment. These adaptations to the dark are known as troglomorphisms. If you venture into the word’s etymological depths, you will obtain the Greek root morph, this means kind or condition, lurking at the rear of the prefix troglo, or cave-dwelling.


This appeared in the June 2020 issue of Discover magazine. Subscribe for additional tales like these.

Rosa G. Rose

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