Snottite samples were collected in an area north of the "Ragu Passage," Snottite age was determined as follows: young snottites had a completely white outer surface, a uniform thickness over the entire length, and were not collapsed in the middle.
Attempts were made to culture the snottite species on other bacteria, but this failed.
Some of these snottite microbes consume hydrogen sulfide and produce sulfuric acid as waste.
These microbes grow in slimy formations called "snottites" that drip from moist cave walls.
* A snottite
is a slimy, hanging formation colonized by sulfer-eating bacteria.
Williams looked at the mountain's colonies of snottites
, single-celled bacteria with a mucus-like consistency, which is a combination of warm water and sulphur compounds.
Some studies have indicated chemolithotrophic bacteria activities in caves, causing biofilms and snottites
, which form as extensions of microbial biofilms that coat the walls and ceilings of caves (Hose et al., 2000).
These communities take many forms, including slick films on rock walls, mats in the cave's streams and pools, and moist globs that geologists have dubbed snottites
It was hypothesized that fewer arachnids would be found within the most toxic areas of the cave (defined as areas with high concentrations of [H.sub.2]S in the air, deposits of elemental sulfur or other acidic substrates and the presence of the highly acidic microbial colonies termed "snottites
In fact, they so resemble what leaks from a runny nose that scientists have dubbed them snottites
. "If you blow on it, it wiggles and wobbles," says Louise Hose, a geologist and the director of New Mexico's National Cave and Karst Research Institute.
The cave's fish and insects devour the snottites
, which derive energy from sulfur (much like common plants using sunlight for fuel).