The oldest rock in the cave is roughly 100 million years old. The void of the cave was forming when the Balcones Fault Zone was active about 25 million years ago. If you are wondering how old the cave is, this is the closest we will get to knowing its age.
The chemical formula for the creation of carbonic acid is:
H2O + CO2 = H2CO3
The chemical equation for the dissolution of calcium carbonate in carbonic acid is as follows:
CaCO3 + H2CO3 = Ca+2 + 2HCO3-
This is a link to a Prehistoric Timeline by National Geographic. It is a good model to use to show your students just how young the cave is relative to the Earth:
National Geographic Prehistoric Timeline
The cave is a constant 72 ˚ F because that is the average ground temperature in this area. Other factors affect cave temperature, but not enough to make a noticeable difference in our cave. Visit the following link for more information from a study completed at Wind Cave National Park:
Wind Cave National Park Meteorology
The following link will direct you to a page from the University of Texas that gives more detailed information on the Balcones Fault Zone:
Balcones Fault Zone
There are at least 3,000 caves in Texas, 7 of which are show caves. Other Texas show caves include Natural Bridge Caverns, The Caverns of Sonora, and Cave Without a Name.
The melanin that causes skin pigmentation is a protective agent against radiation from the sun. This is why troglobites are white-they no longer have any need for that protection.
How to make a seashell: