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GAZE across an arid expanse of the Pilbara and you could be forgiven for thinking animal life is sparse.

But beneath your feet could lie large groundwater reservoirs that are bustling underworlds with weird and wonderful creatures—many of them occurring nowhere else in the world but one watery cave under the Pilbara’s ancient earth.

Among this secret underworld are oligochaetes—a form of aquatic earthworm no longer than your fingernail. Researchers recently set to determine the distribution of these creatures.

They sought to work out whether these aquatic worms occur in tiny home ranges like other underground aquatic creatures in the Pilbara. 

If so, they could be at risk of extinction if the groundwater from their home range be exhausted for use in mining or other industries.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.sciencewa.net.au

See on Scoop.itCurtin Global Challenges Teaching Resources

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