The Texas Caver

Material Information

The Texas Caver
Series Title:
The Texas Caver
Texas Speleological Association
Texas Speleological Association
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Regional Speleology ( local )
Technical Speleology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )
United States


General Note:
Content: Texas grottoes -- Cave safety -- News from Dallas -- News de San Antonio -- The Medina Lake Sinkhole -- STMUSS invades Mexico Part II -- Davis Ranch and Dragool Cave field trip / Robert Money, Corpus Christi Grotto -- Fern Cave -- Some notes on cave salamanders of the Edwards Plateau / Ken Baker -- Identification of Texas cave bats / Kip Hereid, John Hopkins University -- Speleology: the mental process / Freud Collins.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Version:
Vol. 2, no. 2 (1957)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-04423 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.4423 ( USFLDC Handle )
10582 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0040-4233 ( ISSN )

USFLDC Membership

Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



This item has the following downloads:

Full Text


Pa ge 2 THE TEXA S CAVE R March-April T E XAS GROTT OES Abilene Grotto: Bob' & Bart Crism an, 1625 Abilene Corpus Christi Grotto: R. Jeckson, Havol J,-: r Station, Corpus Christi .. Balcone:s Grotto: Richvrd T. Scott, 2003 Ala meda. f ustin Grotto: Don 10527 Soltn Dr., Delles bt. "u:ery's Grotto: Che:ninlide n6ll, riary's Lniv., Antonio, Texr.s UT Gretto, 7672, UT Station) Austin THE TEXftS CliVER 3003 Soeed way Austin, Texas Editors: Richard Scott & Bill Hel mer lirtist: Bill Helmer Circulation: Fred Berner David Kyser Reporters: Maurice Fox, Rebert M oney, Kip He reid, Don Widen er, 'V\ HEAR YE!! The Texas Ceve r is, as usual, in n e ed of stories, articles, and news. If you have which may be of inter8st to rylease send us a story. Try to submit storie s end double-soaced, end it is the oolicy of the not to actual c a ve locations in stories.


CJ,VE SP.F1!-'TY TH!!. TEXJ.S Ci\VER p oge 3 N DPLLt.S obout safety ali'e often hear d and l i ke the troffic and safety signs0 they be come triteo But of occidents in terms of broken bones parolysisp ond even deothoooflS unpleosrnt os ell this be fil tel, s dovm from the di stent nol"thlcnds of the Dollns area that the locol spelunkers ore finally form ing into en NSS G rotto& will moke n reckless o(jve r think twice befor e he Charter members of tho ore Don l,lnrtin11 Ed Bl7Gl1p Al ?, ;o.lona, ond s ond Yvorme Groentokes e in[;o This business of cove sofety id b r ouv,ht to mind by o recent letter from Chorlcs ond Yvonne Groening6 two NSS covers moved to Dtlllas frcm Colifomia not long agoe Officers hGVe not yet been It seems that during their visit to A'1o.yfield Cave thEly found that a Frevious group of explorers who were not ort;onized spelunkers suffered on occident which .cost the leader o. broken enkle0 He got out safely however. Apporontly this occident occur-s._ c.;. od 'befcre the ledr;e wns crossed., o _:.::_ ) in the "snfe" part of the cove. < !:!_ > Has the occident happened beyond the ledge it might hove been n serious 'tragedy as onyone who has visited the cave well knowso So keep in mind thet nccidents .:;,/ / . DO hoooen, and act accordingly / ."' / underf.round., The Texas Caver t / ) I' .// /. / . ..../ / rr / f'IP..e '1"he. C.AYf-OYSIEAS


THE TEJ:/. S Ci:VE.H The ST! .:US S h Gld elec tions A lorch l ond norned Jim Monning preGi d cnt, Bob Lytton Hou rice Fox os Tro0surcr, ond Herb Briesocher Corresponding S e cretory. DHBLO CliVE l :iJIPPED Sev en STUUSS members returne d to Diablo Cove during the lest w eekend of for co ve exolorstion end They mapped the first 3500 f ee t of the ccve rnd found it in close cgreement with Ct:;rl Cl ayton's 194 9 m e .p., They lso investigated another entrence b elieved to link with the cave, hut were sto::>ped when the nassege went unde r \'/Ot e ro On the ex'Jedition, : : r ebb Cove "If'S explored end end S olly Cove wos visited for a short time. "GRINGO TURISTP.S" TO RETURN SOUTH IN St:JRCH O F RUSTIC CULTURE 1-ND THE J;TI.:O S P fuR E OF THE OLD WORLD (Tome C&rta Bl anoa, Bien Frio, etc.) 1. s is r apidly becoming usuc. 1, STMUSS is in the throes of plnnning onothe r trip to J :lexico. The proboble destinction of the propose d E aste r expedition is the oreo between Ciudod MEmte end Ciud c d Volles. It is hoped to secure more information conc erning blind-fish coven, to explore o lvrge sinkhole mentione d by the nc.tives on the lost trip. h o s been invited to send o couple of members on the oxo edition. THE MEDINJ1 Li'KE SINKHOLE Six STMUSS members locsted and the long-rumored Medina Loke Sinkhole Feb, ruory 17. The cave entrance is a narrow vertical fissure in the rock at the top of a .hill 70 feet deep end about six feet in width. Three small rooms connected by muddy cravrlw eys were found at the bottom of the sink. Apparently there had been plenty of previous exploration because chewing gum wrappers and beer cans were numerous, end covered one rock. No evidence of orevious


exploration by org onized s pelunkers w a s found, hov :ev er. Jim 1 l an Siebe n a ler, Mauri

b R/.NCH Bm DRAGOOL FIELD TRIP by Corpus Christi. Grotto On the weeke: 'ld o.f 22 1957 o field trip v :1:s h eld by tl:w Corpus Christi Grotto : end Drc.gool Ct: .VoiJJ S The 1members who the trip .were Hervey Jccknon, Bob Jetr y Fe.rwood, : Pnul :Efcnson, Bob -lf.oore end 1'Emr;ncck'' Frc.nk. :J t the D avis Rench) tuo ::1eJT c nv(;; s were exolored c ompletely . The Wildcl':t CoYe .was thwever, led d o.m nt Q slignt elop6 to nnoth0r. room and to. another before it 'I'he wns givon its nhlJe from of visits tho by .wildoats. This uvo is entered through o. ruth-;; r. .tme.ll cink e.nd then Glop{;:S down c t 1:.. :otvep angle for.r.bout 18 feet more to .t.J.rc firct chr. !i1bor. . T :ha oav& we.s also erxplqrcd., but not ocmpletcl. y r . ./ due to'' a silt .bed about '150 feet beyond the entrance. The cave thus far is 1 ;ttle more then e. water course. entering'' a Small sink' which widened in order to enter the cave. This cnve was g1ven the name "Rain Dr e. {fi Cuve. tt A third was exolored and photographedo This ceve been b0fDre and So little time was there. It was Rattlesnake Cave but no rattlers were From the Davis Rench we to Ranch end visited three more caves. The first was rather large ana So1i1e time was sryent in taking more ')icture l>. Since these ceves hed: : ell been exolored before end being in e. hurry to get to the mairi. "Dragool. Ceve," we cut the visit here snort. On the way to Dragoo! Cave we briefly one of the shelter caves. After exploring one cre.wlway which pinched out, we werrf; to the main feature of the day. Dragool Cave is a paradise. We did little actual exploring, but rather used up what flashbulbs were .left, It wns the general opinion of the group that Dragool was the most beautiful oave any had seen. No new catte tripo are definately planned at the moment but with the arrival of some new gear. 'the De r s Sinkhole be on the


ttl\ si1 fllld poss 1 b ( '1 i-lne I Asi of A 'SeR1es ) ----.:._ _ '-----------. "! I I \ I


THr:; Tl:.X.AS CI.VE R 8 pc.r;o I I too' ? ->


A joint field trip by Abilene end UT visited Fern Cave durinp; the first v1eckend !Jorch to mop ond photogtoph the coveo Fern Cove was measured to be feet in length" which makes it the fourth lonr,est cove in the stoteo The tremendous size of the pr:ssoges, .which v.rere os Ylidc ns 120 feet in sr:mo plocesp vnd its 40 fcot cei linp: moke it the largest ceve in the fero every mojor cove findinr, trip to r,o Ollt letely P however, hes tu1ned up n new ccve which abts recordso There is very little inFcr-n Cove 'with tho exception of the entrcnce after which the cave was ntmeclo Toll green ferns as high e.s seven feet, form a ncer..-forest just below the circulo. r sink which is about 40 feet deep ond the same in dio meter0 The rest of the cove is impressive only in its sizeo The only real formations in the cave are found in two places, os shovm on the accompanying mapo. One fonnotion is of special interest ond is found just post the intersection of tho three possoges--nn eight foot THE TD\.t.S Ci. V G R po gc 9 oppe.rently eroded, w hich is obout four feet in dierncter end supported by only o thin stem of rock--it resembles a Chri stmes tree in shope" The remainder of the cove is divided betw een gunnop jogr,ed b r cokdov.n0 and pe rfectly flat dirt floot iGo Three sink entrr.nces, only one of which con be cosily ore lmown end con be seon frcm within the COVCo fiD1 coppeR TvloJN<:j 1 ;too I jv:J5 111 C07\7"1<2c.T IO""Yl UJ 1 TH CAVI/19 ConTt="IC. t,. te.xA5 Cp.vcf\.


j0 JIOT.t,S O N C11.V.t, b.nL.hi' lhNDilli:i OF '1},1:, bDk.r.RDI:i f:LJ-..TMU b y Ken Bake r The early @1ccstoral forr rs of' our presE:nt dc::y plateau c a v e s a l&mcndcrs w e r e a t errestria l group tha t sprt:ud to the PlnteL!u during t h e l c t c T erticry or early Plois toco nu 1n e y disperse d much of tho plc t ec u cren \-lhc.n conditions \-IC::r e more t able for tur0st'riol forms then it is today. But th; platC:Jc.U b e g[ t n to dry, cs it is still doing todL.y, c.nd tho were forced to live in the co o l w o t ors of spring s and Ldapt to a condition in orde r to survive As a r esult of some of the sprines drying overpopulation, excessive prt:d ation, or for other mt:ny of the sur face p opulLtions rutrcQted underground This event is happenin g now, for during tho p ast s e v c r c l yonrs as u. result of a drouth, mr.ny springs \-/hi ch \-Jer e inhc. bitcd by sulL mcndcrs h c ve c oc s o d to flow. Occasionally when the springs commence to flm-1 again the salamanders return to the surface after having existed underground. The c a v e form, lati tans, onc e a surface form, is at present restricte d to an und erground habitato But at times of heavy rr.inf&ll, wc:;.ter ovcrflo-...:s the entr&nce to one of the thre e cnves it is knovm to inhabit and th0 spoch.s h<..s access to the outside b ev<::rnl of the cnvr::_ of burvce neotcmes are brought to the outside vrhen this occurs. Other populc .tions, confined to underground -...mters, rem< there becoming a subterruneun existLnce, and unc.bl0-to reu).trn to the outside beverol such populctions ure in exisknce and m o y b 8 reach e d through CGV8S or brought up in vle:lls. Two sut:h c c s c s e r e Typhlomolg e rcthbuni and !faicleq_td.ton w alleci. OncE: such populations are cut off from outside influen c es, progr0soive evolution &.nd 'regressive' evolution b egins. ''Regressive' in nE::otenic cave salamanders is .exemplifi8d by a d ege n eration of eyes, a loss of pigm ent, a reduction in


numb e r of costal grooves, at least. in !Yphlomolge a degeneration o f th8 throid 1 d c_. } II II l g en regrusslve c1ang c s ere the rc.sults of the extreme environment t o Hbich the a 'r e subjected: a constant t empe rature < .nd humi dity, absoJ.ute end eter nal d2rlmess, n o d aily or sec::s o ne:l life cycle the scme and ccnstant influence s of other c oi1e1i tions the p ogc 1J. cuve n.rdLl<..!l S 11s is oft e n sce:rco the y n ust b e Lbl c to survi v c o n u.' clie;t. In its nqu2tic h abitL t s clr.Dc..nc1ur b c c o::;t..s t h e clo;:'.inc.nt forr.1 of J.if e o .':>win:in.:; them b e c or,es virtunlly unn c c cssn.ry cs i s no to cscapo preC:ation o r to capture f ooc : This r.:o.y accoun t for th<::: trend tO\.Jard lonGer l0gs in or t o t actile Leans of loconotion. It can b e sce:n then, Tho s e physica l factors ho'W a c ave 0nvirom::l.;nt \ .JoulC anc1 their influenc e s on the affect ''regression' in a c a v e bio logy o f the:; individual spoci8 s evolution anc''t th,:;or-are important changGs the 8tically each o f tht: c<:;vc salamanders must ci the r a dpopulati.ons can e v o l vc into a just t o o r p erish. i::Juch things di;;t:inct spccicG, but us yL:t as cyGsight and pigmontation fC:;H. don e s o i l ost of the become unnc ccossary anC: arc. surf nco forr.1s so clcs(.;ly rc.:lost. T o compcns'ate f o r the SGElbl e each (l.the:r the.. t it is l oss o f eyesi ght the sdumc:m.:.. difficult a t pr0scnt t u c.lisc1ors d c v c l c p cxtrC;lllC s onsi-tinguis h b etve;c:n thclil; IJuch tivity. t'-' t ouch nnd sm,:;llo of. the difference li(..S o nly Prodction, c.s c. mco.ns o f f oo d inisize c:.nd pattern. 111<=-ir g etting is cf li.ttlc usc us rolc..tionships t o uthcr ere there is scldoh c. lc:r ge enou g h pro b nbly a t r.;ost s ub-specific. c cncentrstio n c f living 'I o::;e populations, hm.;t:vvr1 orgc..nisr!1s in tho vJc:ttcr on "Which thc..t hc.v e gone rn H :<:.r e r ound t o feed. This r:1<. ... ons tllc lilld h a v e been subjected t o the m u s t 1.:-. rg<;:ly udnpt adverse enviroru.:ent hc::ve been to thEJ hGbi ts of ::.:. sca vcmthe o n e s nest affe cted by g c r fC;eding on v J h c t little:: rndicd ovclutiom:ry chuneos orgun.ic mct eric..l is nnd the cnes t c ch<.nge nost in tllrough nccident(.l i mport morphology an d ontoe;cny, thus from the: outsic;e; or fron the dcve:lopine; into n e H specics. r efuse _and rcLloins of the /r;;. / _./. ,....;: ........-;. L/ L.....:: ./' _/ v 1


I DE! T IFICJ ,TION OF TEXAS CliVE BPI'S By Kip lJE:reid, Jo hns Hopkins Univ ersity Eve n i n the time of Aesop ( 620 B.C. ) b uts were in the n ews end stories the day. lie, as well othe r ancients, r e count t o les thet illustrate the ambig uou s position tha t the b n t .holds in n ature: nthe ability to fly like birds, bite like benstsi hide by day, end see in the durk. n Becuu s e the habits of bets ore su ch tha t they are not eosily studied, there are many long gops in our kno wledge of their life histories0 Today, some of these ge?S ore being closed by reseorch teams, sever al of which ore in the southwest pert of the US. B ecause of the tatives of all these three families. In the following descriptions I h a ve tried to meke use of only easily observed ex terna l cbarecteristics as a means of identification. In some c ases measurements have be e n given, but_ only as an. attempt to emphasize gross differenceso An.unusual external character istic that proves to be usef.ul in sep arating types of bats is the tragus. The tragus is a projection of the external ear that extends upwerd immediately in front of the opening into the inner ear. ever increasing need for coopA. Vespertilionidoe are bats eration b etwee n spelunkers ond with simple or ulain noses, these 11botmcn", some descriptive with no leaves or other characteristics of bats found in growths on the nose. They Texos ceves ere listed here. have a comulete membrane l\1 thoug h the taxonomic order ofl' betvreen their legs which the b at, Chiroptera, contains supryorts o tail extending to 17 fru nilies, 215 gen era, and an its edge and no further, estimQ t e d 2000 species and sub-i.e., the tail is complet-species, we find within the borders ely enclosed in the inter-of US only three families femorul membrane. (Vespertilionidae, Molossidae, (l)Myotis: (little brown bat) a.nd Phyllostomidae) 16 genera, smallbat; forearm length in and 65 species and subspecies. 2 inches; hair pattern in In Texas there are represen-most is bi-color, i.e.,


general color is dark grey or brovm; pointed tragus; found in colonieso Most likely Myotis velifer if it has a dull sepia or drab color above and is paler on under parts with pure white hairs on the sides of belly. (2) Eptesicus (big brown batr="large bat; color brown; heavy build; rounded ears; blunt tregus; forearm about 2 inches. Normally found in small colonies. (3) Pipistrel -(Georgian bats) small size; blunt tragus; slightly ?ointed ears; whitish or yellovrish gray with black ears end vnngs; little over 1 inch. Usually a hangs singlyo May be either Pipistrellus hesperus or or P. subflavus. (4) Coryneyhinus(big-eared; lump-nosed -large ears over 1 inch in height_ and joined in .the middle at the base; two prominent .lumps in front of the eyes; color is brown shade with no white spots. Most likely Corynorhirius rafinesquei. THE TEXAS ChVER poge 13 ( 5) Antrozous pallidus (jae.llid bats) long ears similar to big eared but these ore not joined and the nose lacks the lumps in front of the eyes; general color yellowish. Solitary bat. B. Molossidae ere_the freetailed batso The tail, instead of being wholly enclosed v..ft. thin the interfemoral membranep extends beyond it. (1) Tadarida (Mexican free tvil, r.uono bets) smell -bot usuclly colored, rusty in toil extonda beyond the intcrfomorol lncmbnno. It 1 s found in colonies lcovos dooosits of likely '..l'odcrido .:,oxioo.t.:2. c. Phy llostomidae (leaf nosed bats) (1) M.armoops -Aello mega lophylla (old-man bat, leafed-chin :bat} -large bat; grotesque face by folds of skin across the chin; tail extends from middle of membrane. In small colonies end sometimes associated with other


TEE TEXJS C/-.V E R p ege 1 4 SPE L E OLOGY1 THB J ( E H T.AL P ROCESS B y F e u d Collins 1'1 vo.s d eefeTen'l; f t' o m o e ze\" leetle hardly o suitable e .plonntio n for the m o tivot1ons of spelm1kers o Pnd oasuol votion of the unuouol logical o spe c t s ? e g a Y d i nr, s u c h people ,., ho t' e v e l in a."l o ctivit y c okin to c row ling in a w e t often leads to the conclusion tha t they e r e simp l y dcmentedo This of course is qui t e unt1. u e11 and it is the put> poso of thi s discourse to considef' the reasons w hc i' eby spelunkers ere HeTedi ty 8 it seems 8 is a.Vl impor ton'c f o.ctol? i n estab!ish !ng certai n drives which in time develop int o the motivated d e 5ires an d activ i t ies of lotcr life. If these drives ali'e f rustrated in early childhood nn inner tensi on is developed w h i ch seeks all e viation in yea rs. These eo rly f1ustrntion s ond deprivations I:Joy be l .. esponsibla for the cove -exploT olop,!o o i terests of so m e oeople. Perhaps a small child is de prived of certoi n experiences such os playing in sewers, rooks ot friends, /nd wadin G thr-oug h puddlee. ,----..--......-----. ln l o ter yeaTs he mcyunconcciousl y f i nd e & ? ?ession of his desires as. e P.n e .rden t spo r tsinon8 who is normel, mey elso tur n to spelunk.inp; as on outlet end at the some time o substitute for other sports ond octivitieso This m(ln would also enjoy mountain except thet this requires a great deal of work which conflicts with his che Yoctcristic lezinesso Automobile racine; cost s money rund is reputed to bo dangerouso The pleasur o of s k i ing doe s not justify the long walk back up tho hill o -S kin d i v i ng quires both money e n d exPOSUTe to ( yeccch) water Huntinr; often eppenlsl) but the field is too limited to be truly chollenging (can't hunt people) would be stimuloting if his ootches hed good ine; spir1 t( like maybe skin but it otherwise must be condemmed nlong with tennis, etc es temo end conventional The only sp 0rt, naturally is soelunking. page -=


( THE 'i'EX/ S C1WE R poge 15 I cont1do f T o m page 1 4

Content: Texas
grottoes --
Cave safety --
News from Dallas --
News de San Antonio --
The Medina Lake Sinkhole --
STMUSS invades Mexico Part II --
Davis Ranch and Dragool Cave field trip / Robert Money,
Corpus Christi Grotto --
Fern Cave --
Some notes on cave salamanders of the Edwards Plateau /
Ken Baker --
Identification of Texas cave bats / Kip Hereid, John
Hopkins University --
Speleology: the mental process / Freud Collins.