Here there is (and has been) life

Caves are not lifeless spaces, contrary to what it may seem. In ancient times they have been used as a refuge for large animals, such as the lion and the cave bear and, of course, for humans, especially during cold times. Caves are also authentic hotspots of rich underground biodiversity, linked to surprising microorganisms and extremophile animal species, adapted to very harsh environmental conditions, without direct access to light and energy from the Sun.

During the geological investigations carried out, some evidence of life, both past and present, in Cueva de las Estegamitas has appeared. The most spectacular example is a fragment of a long bone from a mammal, found in one of the deepest areas of the cave, one of the most difficult to access. Although it is not possible to make an accurate specific diagnosis with this fragment alone, experts point to the possibility that it belonged to a primate, without ruling out that it could be human.

There are many more small bones on the surface and inside the sediments that appear in this deep area, which serve as evidence of the connection with the outside at some point in the remote past.

It is not the only clue about possible past cave life. There are also, in several places in the cave, markings on the walls, deep and parallel strokes, very similar to those interpreted as marks left by the paws of cave bear in other caves in the Iberian Peninsula.

But not everything is evidence of past life, the evidence of present life is also notable: the plants that grow on the surface make their way with their roots towards the subsoil, colonizing some of the sectors of the cave closest to the outside. And the most surprising thing, some bats, a specially protected animal group, wander and take refuge in some of the rooms of the cave, without us knowing to this day where they enter and exit the cave.

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