Whether you’re hiding in a cave while it is pouring with rain outside, or just exploring nature’s wonders, you may find a few interesting creatures inside. While some animals only sleep in caves, others never leave the caves or see the sun – ever! Let’s see what you can expect to find, and whether you should switch on your torch and watch – or run for your life.
What it is A bat is a flying mammal, and some species live in caves. A bat is mainly a nocturnal animal (active at night) and you might find an entire colony hanging upside down from the cave’s rooftops.
What he eats Some bats eat fruit and others eat insects. There are only three species that live on blood.
Should I run or watch? The entire colony will most probably fly away before you have a chance to switch on your light. But don’t go too close, as bats can be carriers of rabies.
2. Rat snake
What it is A rat snake is non-venomous and there are various species living in caves worldwide.
What he eats Mainly rodents.
Should I run or watch? You can probably watch from a distance.
3. Texas blind salamander
What it is This amphibian lives in and out of clean water in the caves.
What he eats Mainly snails and shrimp.
Should I run or watch? If you can find him, take a good look, as this creature is very rare.
4. Prickly cave crayfish
What it is This crayfish is white and can’t see.
What he eats Plankton and other plant material.
Should I run or watch? You can watch this little guy for as long as you like.
What it is A bear is a predator that sleeps in caves. If it is winter, and you’re in bear country, you might find a hibernating (an animal who sleeps through winter) bear in the cave.
What he eats Most bears eat plants, fruits, fish and sometimes small animals.
Should I run or watch? Run, run, run! Especially if you wake a sleeping bear.
6. Cave crab
What it is This crab is small, pale and blind.
What he eats Tiny creatures in cave pools.
Should I run or watch? The cave crab can’t see you and will most probably not even know you’re there, so you can stay and watch.
7. African cave spider
What it is Although a spider, he has only six legs. The other two legs developed into extremely long feelers.
What he eats Tiny insects.
Should I run or watch? African cave spiders are harmless to people, so it is safe to watch him.
What it is A leopard is a predator who occasionally sleeps in caves. You will more likely see him in a big tree. But they do sometimes hunt animals, like baboons, who also sometimes take cover in caves.
What he eats Small antelope and other mammals.
Should I run or watch? Retreat very slowly, make sure he doesn’t follow you, and then run for your life. Tip: don’t climb a tree, as he is much better at it than humans!