Biogeography and the caves of Bermuda Academic Article uri icon


  • Recent investigations of the more than 100 inland marine caves of Bermuda have shown that the number of invertebrate species inhabiting them is large, the amount of endemism is greater than one might expect, and the biogeographical relationships among species of certain genera encountered suggest more than one route of colonization. We believe that some of Bermuda's cavernicolous invertebrate marine fauna originated from stocks transported from the Caribbean via the Gulf Stream; some may represent groups that survived on submerged and emergent sea mounts along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge since the middle Mesozoic; some are relict deep sea fauna, while others may be Tethyan relicts. In addition, we hypothesize that the geothermal temperature gradient, observed as shallow as 30m below present sea level1, may have maintained water temperatures in some caves sufficiently high to protect certain groups during Pleistocene glaciation. © 1983 Nature Publishing Group.

author list (cited authors)

  • Iliffe, T. M., Hart, C. W., & Manning, R. B.

citation count

  • 61

publication date

  • March 1983

published in