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You probably have heard about caves before, but you may not have heard of karst. So what does karst mean? Karst refers to a type of landscape or topography that is formed when rocks are dissolved by a weak acid. 
 
Caves are found in karst landscapes, but also found in other areas. Generally, caves are defined as naturally occurring cavities or openings in the earth. Scientists who study caves are called speleologists. Caves are fascinating for multiple reasons. One reason caves are fascinating is because they are home to unique ecosystems. The lack of light and other extreme conditions result in interesting animal adaptations and rock formations. Caves are also fascinating because they often contain fossils. Some examples of animals that live in caves are Texas blind salamanders, cave fish, crayfish, tooth cave spiders, and bats. Some of these animals are endangered species and need extra protection. Bats that live in caves are facing a particularly difficult challenge with a fungus known as white-nose syndrome (WNS).
 
You will learn about WNS in “Cave Conundrum.” In “Tropic Topic,” you will learn about karst landscapes in tropical forest areas. Through reading “The Whole Kit and Kaboodle” you will gain an understanding about an Alaska Native Tribe and their unique connection to coastal cave areas. The final article, “A Tale of Two Caves,” will explore how caves develop and how caves near each other can develop differently. These articles represent just a few of the cool science topics that are studied in karst and cave areas.

Download or order your free copies of Caves and Karst here.